Margaret E.  Finlay


Thank you for visiting my website. I have been honored to serve as your City Councilmember in the City of Duarte for the past 28 years.  Even with the positive trends seen in Duarte during my tenure, there is still much to be accomplished - and that is why I am seeking re-election in District 4. With  four generations of my family still living here, Duarte has become more than just a place to live. It is my HOME and my COMMUNITY.  I appreciate the willingness of so many, who share my vision for a better Duarte, to help with my campaign so that we can continue to be the pride of the San Gabriel Valley. You, along with all Duarte residents, deserve to live, work, and play in a thriving community. I will work tirelessly to achieve the goals stated in the ballot statement below.  Thank you again. Please feel free to email me at .  I will respond to all emails as quickly as possible.  


  • California has dissolved city redevelopment agencies, creating disincentives for building housing.
  • Prisoners are being released without serving their full sentences, due to state-mandated regulations, potentially resulting in more crimes statewide.
  • California is operating with less Federal money.

Despite these hardships facing cities, my experience and commitment to you, along with my Masters Degree in Public Administration and working with city staff, have accomplished:

  • Crime reduction of 6.7% since 2016.
  • Gold Line rail extension in Duarte bringing more small business customers and enticing families to purchase homes in the city.
  • Increased community services, through millions of dollars in grants and expanding sales tax revenues, include Senior Center improvements, city swimming pool expansion, new street signage, clean electric city buses, and upgraded parks.
  • Increased employment from City of Hope 20-year Expansion Plan and bio-tech investments.
  • Collaboration with the California School of the Arts, increasing enrollment in Duarte schools.
  • Fiscally responsible budget, with 4-month reserves.

With your valued input, over the next 4 years, we can:

  • Extend the Gold Line to Claremont, removing thousands of cars from our roads.
  • Enhance “smart city” capabilities (citywide Wi-Fi, sensor technology).
  • Continue our downward crime trend through pro-active policing (e.g.license plate readers for stolen cars) and strong youth programs.
  • Build more homes to mitigate the housing crisis for families.


Your vote for Margaret Finlay will keep Duarte moving forward.  Thanks for your trust.

Margaret Finlay – Qualified, Dedicated, Proven Leadership


Margaret and Brad with their parents and their 5 children

Margaret and Brad with their parents and their 5 children

            Margaret was born in Monrovia, California and resided in a number of different states during her life before settling here in the San Gabriel Valley in 1985.  She and her husband of 42 years, Brad, have raised their 5 children here since that time.  All five of their children, Megan, James, Ian, Alana and Evan, have attended Duarte public schools. They all have graduated from Duarte High School and have gone on to graduate from four-year universities, with some of them returning to the Los Angeles area to pursue graduate school.  One son, James, is a clinical veterinarian at the City of Hope and is also an Assistant Research Professor at the graduate school there.  Another son, Ian, and his family are also proud residents of our city.  Margaret’s parents, Ed and Helen Ferguson, also live in Duarte.  Margaret and Brad's grandchildren also attend the Duarte Public Schools.

            Margaret has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame, in Indiana.  Her Masters Degree is in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach, where she has been an adjunct professor in the graduate school in Public Policy.


            Margaret has been a member of the Duarte City Council since 1990 and has served as Mayor of Duarte six times.   She began her community service career working in the local PTAs where she has been President of both local and district units.  Margaret also teaches Sunday School to teenagers in her church and sings in the church choir. She also has served as President of the Duarte Education Foundation for over 25 years, which exists solely to raise money to improve the lives of all students attending Duarte public schools, as well as citizens of the community.  The Foundation has raised over a million dollars in that time to benefit the schools, and is currently working to raise additional moneys for scholarships, musical instruments, Wishing Well Grants for teachers, reading improvement programs in our elementary schools, and Little Libraries throughout the city.

            Over the past 28 years that Margaret has served on the City Council, she has been elected by her peers from other cities to serve on many regional, state and national boards, such as the National League of Cities, League of California Cities, Liability Trust Fund Oversight Committee, California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, Personnel Committee of the Sanitation Districts, Southern California Association of Governments(SCAG) President, and LAFCO Representative for Los Angeles County. She also was the President of the California Contract Cities Association. 

            Locally she continues to lead the fight for cleaner air in cities along the foothills by promoting air quality monitoring stations for the region as well as funding for the Gold Line extension, that will ultimately reduce traffic congestion.   Margaret is an advocate for good health and has worked with the city over the years to implement the Biggest Loser Contest and the Duarte Walking Club.  


            Lowering the crime rate in Duarte has been of utmost importance to Margaret.  Since 2016, Part One crimes in Duarte have decreased by 6.7%,  making Duarte's crime rate lower than surrounding foothill cities in the San Gabriel Valley (Monrovia, Arcadia and Glendora).  Attracting business to our city has also been an important component of Margaret's city council tenure, culminating in the City of Duarte being named the 2012 Most Business Friendly City in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.  These are some of the many reasons that Margaret calls Duarte "Our Kind of Town".


Click to find your polling place

Click to find your polling place

Campaign Advisory Committee


Penny Arroyo, Tina Carey, Pattie Dalessandro, Doug Edwards, Filippo Fanara, John Fasana, James Finlay, Chris Frye, Lois Gaston, Donna Georgino, Larry Marino, Carie Osburn, Ian Finlay, Alana Johnson