Regina Mason named Woman of the Year.

Local Role Model: Seaside resident Regina Mason, tireless defender of society's most vulnerable populations, has earned the admiration of Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Carmel).

Regina Mason has spent much of her life fighting for the disempowered – including the poor, at-risk students, abused children and mental health patients. Although her work is often low-profile, it has touched countless lives.

Now it's her turn to shine. Mason, a longtime Seaside social justice activist, has been named the 27th Assembly District's 2010 Woman of the Year by the office of Assemblyman Bill Monning. She'll be honored on the Assembly Floor on Monday, March 8, as part of Women's History Month.

“Mrs. Mason has for years worked tirelessly behind the scenes, encouraging young people in the region to see education as a path to a better future,” Monning stated. “She is a true example of acting locally, having donated countless hours to making Seaside a better place to live."

Mason was raised in Seaside by a single mother of eight children. After earning a master’s degree in social work from San Jose State University, she became the supervisor of a team that investigates child abuse allegations.

For the past 20 years, she has also volunteered with the Monterey County Branch of the NAACP and is a co-founder of the 15-year-old Annual Youth Summit.

Regina and her husband Mel Mason are co-founders of The Village Project, a mental health service and family resource provider in Seaside that focuses on the needs of the African American community.

As if all that doesn't keep her busy enough, Regina Mason is also a Seaside/Sand City Chamber of Commerce board member and is a past commissioner for Monterey County’s Commission on the Status of Women.

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