Esther Lemus is the current Vice Mayor and a fourth year Councilmember for the Town of Windsor. She lives in Windsor with her husband, Doug, two teenaged daughters, Sydney and Chloe, and her cats, Bebe and Bakey.
Esther was born and raised in Santa Rosa and first moved to Windsor with her parents when she was a junior in high school. Her father was an auto painter and her mother worked as a preschool teacher, before moving into work providing mothers and their children fresh and nutritious foods through a California public health program. Esther attended the University of California at Berkeley where, following internships in Washington D.C., her passion for community and public service led her to Los Angeles to attend law school. There, she became the first member of her family to graduate from law school at UCLA School of Law, becoming the first attorney in her family while fulfilling her parents’ and grandparents’ dreams of family achievement and the American Dream after many years of hard work and sacrifice, as immigrants to this country.
After taking office in December 2018, Esther’s leadership skills were quickly put to the test. In 2019, as the Town of Windsor was threatened by the Kincaid wildfire, Esther worked closely with Town and public safety officials as the entire Town was evacuated and as the Emergency Operations Center was set up and forced to relocate several times due to the threat of wildfire. She also worked closely with County, Sonoma County Fire District, and CalFire officials to ensure that Windsor residents received up to the minute updates and developments and that their diverse needs and concerns were met.
In 2020, Esther faced another leadership challenge as the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold. She quickly became an early leader in the fight against COVID-19, working quickly to gather as much information as she could to inform residents about the virus, help facilitate testing and the set up of a testing facility in Windsor, and eventually working to spread the word about the availability and effectiveness of vaccines to help keep individuals and families safe, while helping to curb the spread of COVID-19. At the height of the pandemic, Esther also worked on policies to help support Windsor’s local businesses, including supporting the use of parklets to help restaurants navigate a very challenging economic time due to some of the mandatory pandemic related closures.
Throughout her term, Esther has also been a champion for working families, including pushing for policies to streamline and encourage the building of housing with greater affordability for Windsor’s residents. Together with her colleagues, Esther has approved several housing developments with increased affordability, and is especially proud of the opening of Windsor Veteran’s Village, a development consisting of 60 one- and two-bedroom residential units for lower income veterans and their families.
She currently serves on the Mayors’ and Councilmembers’ Association Legislative Committee, the Northern Sonoma County Homelessness Task Force, the Sonoma County Fire Protection District Committee, the Windsor Public Art Advisory Commission, and the Windsor Regional Library Advisory Board. She is also a Supervising Attorney for Legal Aid of Sonoma County, an organization that provides free legal services to economically disadvantaged Sonoma County residents, the elderly, and victims of domestic violence.