SACRAMENTO (December 6, 2016) SACRAMENTO – (Monday, December 5, 2016) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) was unanimously elected by her colleagues in the California Latino Legislative Caucus today to serve as Vice Chair.
The Latino Caucus, comprised of a record-high 27 State Legislators – five Senators and 22 Assemblymembers, serves as a forum to develop avenues to empower the Latino community throughout California.
“It is an honor to be selected by so many talented leaders in our community to serve as Vice-Chair of the Latino Caucus. Together, we all stand committed to protecting the families in our state who work hard and just want a better life for their children,” Gonzalez said. “The Latino Caucus has always been a strong voice for achieving that mission in California. But we face a new challenge nationally and our community is looking to us for the strength that’s needed to protect families, accessible health care and the good jobs that we know are needed to make California great.”
Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) was also elected as Chair of the Latino Caucus on Monday. It’s customary for the Latino Caucus’s Chair and Vice Chair to rotate between the two houses of the Legislature. Gonzalez becomes the first Latina to serve in a leadership role in the Latino Caucus since Former Senator Martha Escutia (D-Los Angeles County) was Chairwoman 2004-06.
Gonzalez was elected as Assemblymember of the 80th District in May of 2013. The 80th Assembly District includes Chula Vista, National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of City Heights, Barrio Logan, Paradise Hills, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. Lorena is the first Latina in California history to Chair the Assembly Appropriations Committee. She also serves as Chairwoman of the Select Committee on Women in the Workplace.
Gonzalez authored historic legislation to allow 6.5 million Californians the ability to earn paid sick leave (AB 1522, 2014), to automate voter registration (AB 1461, 2015) and to provide overtime pay for farmworkers after eight hours of work (AB 1066, 2016) among other measures designed to improve equity in California. She also authored laws that permit attorneys who pass the State Bar exam to practice law regardless of immigration status (AB 1024, 2013), protect against immigration fraud protections (AB 1159, 2013 and AB 60, 2015), make the immigration status of an injured individual irrelevant in civil damage awards (AB 2159, 2016), and allows undocumented immigrants convicted of a crime to seek relief from potential deportation (AB 813, 2016).