City Clerk Bio


Carmen Avalos is a dedicated public servant with 16 years experience in City Clerk and Government operations, project management, budget management and community relations.  Carmen was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and raised in South Gate where she attended South Gate schools. 

On March 7, 2001 Carmen was elected as the first Mexican-American Bilingual City Clerk of South Gate.   Ms. Avalos has developed a reputation as one of the state’s most skilled municipal leaders in her areas of expertise Elections and the Political Reform Act. She has been nominated City Clerk of the Year by her professional organization the California City Clerk’s Association and is a Certified City Clerk. 

Prior to Carmen being elected as the City Clerk for the City of South Gate, Carmen began her career in public service at an early age working as a biomedical researcher both at UCLA School of Public Health and at USC Women’s Hospital. She focused much of her research on Cancer, Diabetes, Leukemia, as well as psychosocial stress. Some of her research has been published in various research journals. 
Carmen’s love for helping others led her to transition into the teaching profession.  She returned to her Alma Mater South Gate High School as a Biology Teacher.  Her passion to advocate for others led her to run for office and proudly serve as the Elected City Clerk for the City of South Gate.

Carmen is known as a consummate government watchdog.  She puts her talents to work by overseeing the implementation phase of records management to facilitate more accessibility of city records. She has successfully conducted City elections and helped to draft the California Voter Bill of Rights that was adopted in 2003 and is now part of each polling location material in the state of California. Carmen’s efforts to end corruption helped the City of South Gate recoup 15 million dollars with her expertise in archiving city records, files, meetings, contracts, and assisted in court proceedings that returned money back to the citizens of South Gate. 

Under Carmen’s leadership, the city has efficiently enacted open data policies, directly contributing to increased transparency in each of the City’s departments.  Behind Carmen’s efforts is her commitment to making government more accountable to the people and businesses she serves as South Gate’s City Clerk.


Carmen Avalos commitment to adding value to the City propels her to continue furthering her education. She holds two Master’s degrees from California State University Long Beach and Northridge. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Teaching Credential from California State University Dominguez Hills. Carmen is a Notary Public and proud to be the first certified City Clerk for the City of South Gate and mentors other city clerk’s.  She was nominated in 2003 as City Clerk of the Year by the City Clerks Association of CA. She has received numerous recognitions for her efforts to end corruption in South Gate.  Her accomplishments have been recognized by the California State Senate and State Assembly.  She currently also serves on the Cerritos Community College Board of Trustees, and has been a motivational speaker at many women’s conference and Latino organizations.  

Through her desire to give back to the community and her belief that the people’s voices need to be heard, she gratefully serves as South Gate’s City Clerk. 

Responsibilities of the Office of the City Clerk

Elections Official: Administers and Conducts Municipal Elections

Secretary: Serves as secretary to City Council, Successor Agency, Housing Authority, Public Access Corporation, Public Finance Authority, Oversight Board to Successor Agency, Measure P Oversight Board and Southeast Schools Coalition 

Department Head:  Serves as the Department Head for the Office of the City Clerk, managing staff and day to day operations

Filing Officer:  Oversees compliance of Political Reform Act , 1974 that include filing of conflict of interest statements, campaign finance statements, and audits of these in accordance with the state laws

Administers the Oath of Office:  For city elected officials and the Loyalty Oaths and Affirmations to all appointed city officials, city employees, and members of the public

Legislative Records Administration:  Prepares and maintains the official legislative record and dissemination of approved legislative actions by the City Council

Records Management:  Manages the official records, such as ordinances, resolutions, contracts, bonds, and sealed bids

Legal Notice Admin/Compliance:  Oversees public hearing notices, compliance with the posting and publication of public notices, as required by law

Commissions:  Receives and processes applications for appointment to City commissions, committees, and boards and maintains the membership roster

Historian:  Maintains the history for City affiliated organizations and City Council records

Public Records Compliance Officer:  Receives and processes public records requests, as required under the California Public Records Act

Municipal Code Reviewer:  Oversees updates to the South Gate Municipal Code

Budget Administrator:  Prepares and submits the City Clerk’s departmental budget for Council approval