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Meet Maliha Williamson, running for Riverside County Board of Education, Area 7

Area 7 covers parts of Temecula, Murrieta, and Lake Elsinore.

“Everybody is a human… And we’re all connected. We may not know each other, but we are still all connected in one way or another.”- Maliha

Maliha’s identity as an immigrant shapes her unique perspective, as she recognizes her family’s sacrifices to provide her with better opportunities. Since arriving in the United States from Pakistan at age 11, Maliha has worked hard to make her parents proud and to contribute meaningfully to her community as a masters program graduate, an engineer, and now a candidate for the Riverside County Board of Education.

As the daughter of a small business owner who left all familiarity for opportunities for a new life, it’s no surprise that Maliha continues to break barriers as the first woman engineer in her family. Maliha’s career has not just been about creating space for herself in a male-dominated field; it’s been a testament to her resilience and determination born from her innate desire to succeed. Currently, Maliha is on the road, meeting new people through her tech sales job and enjoying her life. Her commitment to infusing fun into every aspect of her life reflects her light spirit and her determination to build meaningful relationships with those around her.

Maliha’s path to candidacy began within her local school districts a few years ago. After attending school board meetings, Maliha realized that some of the Riverside County school board members had an agenda other than providing a great public education to students. Maliha believes that some board members are trying to “take down public education” and mentioned that a local church directly sponsors these members. Troubled by the idea of these thriving school districts losing their quality of education, Maliha decided she needed to step in and run to be a school board member.

Maliha emphasizes the urgency of her political campaign in safeguarding the future of the Riverside County School Districts. The increasing number of students opting for homeschooling has become a concerning trend, directly impacting district’s funding due to decreased enrollment. In addition, Maliha sheds light on the unsettling attempts by certain school boards to censor books and lesson plans based on personal beliefs. This censorship, she argues, not only stifles diverse perspectives but also puts students at a disadvantage, hindering their preparation for standard AP (Advanced Placement) exams by restricting access to essential information. The potential repercussions extend beyond the classroom, threatening the well-rounded education and future success of the students she aims to represent.

As a mentor for kids in her local community, Maliha prides herself on being a safe space for young people trying to find their identities. Her focus on mentoring youth, advocating for financial and media literacy, and promoting CTE and STEM programs demonstrates a holistic approach to education that stems from her genuine concern for the community’s well-being.

Yet, Maliha is more than her political pursuits. She’s a traveler with a passion for trying new cuisines, a pet lover with a Yorkie named Romeo and a Cairn Terrier named Juliet, and an adventurer who once dared to jump out of a plane! Her willingness to try new things and connect with people from diverse backgrounds showcases her belief in building bridges across cultures and creating human connections.

Maliha is deeply connected to the needs and dreams of the people she hopes to serve in Riverside County. Her journey is not just political; it’s personal, relatable, and rooted in a sincere desire to impact the lives of those she represents.

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