She had previously served for 17 years as a public defender, representing clients in criminal court and in the city’s restorative and collaborative courts, which are designed to provide defendants with alternatives to incarceration and include Behavior Health, Veteran’s Justice, Drug, Clean Slate, Parole and Intensive Supervision courts.
Evangelista was born in San Francisco to parents with no formal education who immigrated to the United States from Jalisco, Mexico, as farmworkers. She grew up a block from the Hall of Justice in San Francisco’s South of Market area. Before earning her J.D. at Vanderbilt, she earned her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University, where she majored in political science and criminal justice and clerked at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
“With the help and support of my neighbors, Mentors, teachers and scholarship benefactors in the LGBTQ, Filipino, Irish, Latino and Chinese communities, I became one of the first Mexican American women to graduate from Vanderbilt Law School,” she said.
She ran for judge “to ensure that our courts of in touch with the communities they serve and provide equal treatment for all people who come before the courts.”
She is the mother of twin daughters.