Meet Salud

First elected to Congress in 2016, Salud Carbajal has a proven track record of standing up for Central Coast values and building stronger communities. He’s running for Congress to continue fighting for opportunity and security for middle-class families, lower costs of living, and to protect the environment, economy and unique needs of our region.

Salud and his family lived in a small copper mining town in Arizona, after immigrating from Moroleón, Guanajuato, Mexico when Salud was five. His father worked in the mines while his mother maintained the home for their eight children. When the mine closed, the family moved to Oxnard where Salud’s father became a farmworker and Salud spent summers working with his father in the fields. Attending junior high and high school in Oxnard, Salud applied himself and focused on his education.

Salud earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his master’s degree in organizational management from the Fielding University. He served eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, including active duty service during the 1991 Gulf War, where he was mobilized to Jacksonville, North Carolina.

In 2004, Salud was elected to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. In his tenure, he demonstrated a commitment to protecting our environment, promoting sustainability, strengthening our schools, and enhancing the health and safety of our community.

A leader in protecting our scenic views and open spaces, he stood up against developments on the Gaviota Coast that threatened preservation efforts and has opposed new offshore oil development along our coastline. Salud worked to implement a Climate Action Plan for Santa Barbara county and made solar energy an affordable, efficient option for homeowners. He promoted innovative solutions to addressing environmental stewardship and sustainability, and advocated for job creation in this emerging industry.

Drawing upon his own childhood experiences growing up in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood, Salud shares a passion for improving the lives of at-risk youth. He found innovative ways to strengthen our schools by creating a job skills and mentorship program for at-risk youth and providing summer programming for our kids. He has been an advocate for health programs that help our children and seniors receive the care they need, co-sponsoring an initiative that provided health insurance for all of Santa Barbara County’s children.

Throughout his time serving California’s 24th Congressional District in Congress, Salud’s life experiences have helped him advocate for the needs of our community.  In Congress, he has fought for bold environmental protections, strong services for our nation’s veterans, initiatives that serve working families, and robust infrastructure and education policies that help uplift all students, especially the most vulnerable.

Over the past few years, Salud has delivered landmark investments for the Central Coast through COVID-19 relief packages that have helped California families make ends meet, keep businesses afloat, reopen schools, and revitalize our communities after years of challenges stemming from the pandemic.

As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Salud also helped get the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed into law in 2021. This measure will delivering more than $45 billion to California over the next five years to invest in long-overdue road and highway improvements, clean energy transportation, expanded high-speed internet, and programs to specifically fight wildfire, drought, and leaking oil and gas wells.

More than half of the bills Salud is working on in Congress are bipartisan – and he has championed measures to protect farmworkers, address the climate crisis, create affordable housing for veterans and more.

Salud is married to his wife, Gina, and has two children, Natasha and Michael.

Salud has served on a number of national and regional committees focusing on climate change, children and families, and senior issues. He has been awarded for his leadership by a number of organizations: 

  • 2022 California Special Districts Association Legislator of the Year Award

  • 2019 Congressional Management Fund Best Workplace Environment Award

  • 2019 Humane Society Humane Advocate Award

  • 2018 Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award

  • 2014 Community Environmental Council Environmental Hero

  • Area Agency on Aging 2009 Public Official of the Year

  • 2008 Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties “Sticking His Neck Out” award

  • 2008 Santa Barbara Jewish Federation Ambassador of Freedom Award

  • 2008 Santa Barbara Hispanic Chamber Elected Official of the Year

  • Named a “Community Role Model” by Women’s Economic Ventures