Carla J. Thornton

The City of Moreno Valley is mourning the loss of District 2 City Councilwoman Dr. Carla J. Thornton, who passed away January 21 following an illness.

“Councilwoman Thornton was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply for the residents of her district and the City as a whole,” said Dr. Yxstian Gutierrez, Mayor of Moreno Valley. “Carla brought an incredible amount of enthusiasm, energy and real joy to her Council work, and she had so much more to contribute. This is a tremendous loss for Moreno Valley, and I will miss her as a colleague and as a friend.”

Councilwoman Thornton was elected to her first four-year term in December 2018, and was the first African-American woman to serve on the Council. She was an academic by profession and served as an assistant professor at California Baptist University, where she specialized in teaching social work management and policy.

Councilwoman Thornton was born in Culver City and graduated from the University of Maryland, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in Management at the University of Redlands, and a Master of Social Work degree and a Doctorate of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Her doctoral research focused on women veterans and the economic-development challenges affecting the Inland Empire.

Dr. Thornton proudly served her country as a member of the United States Air Force for 20 years. She deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and retired at the rank of Master Sergeant.

Prior to being elected to the City Council, Dr. Thornton was already an active member of her community, chairing both the Moreno Valley Traffic Safety Commission and the City’s Environmental and Historical Preservation Board.

Councilwoman Thornton’s family has asked that their privacy be respected and has not yet shared information regarding services.