She is one of only three Chicago officials -- mayor, clerk, and treasurer -- who are elected citywide.
Mendoza was a soccer star at suburban Bolingbrook High School and at Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman State University. Her degree was in business administration.
In 2001 she was elected a Democratic state representative, becoming at age 28 the youngest member of the General Assembly. Mendoza co-founded the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus.