About Senator Lena A. Gonzalez
Senator Lena A. Gonzalez was first elected to the State Senate to represent the 33rd District in a special election in June of 2019 and was subsequently re-elected in the November 3, 2020 general election for her first full 4-year term. As State Senator, she represents nearly 1 million residents in Southeast Los Angeles, Signal Hill, portions of South Los Angeles, Lakewood, and her hometown of Long Beach.
In the Senate, Senator Gonzalez is a strong voice for working families, advocating to improve working conditions and lifting up the voices of all workers. She prioritizes and fights for a clean environment, digital inclusion, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights and the economic vitality of small businesses among other policy areas.
In 2020, Senator Gonzalez chaired a newly formed bipartisan committee of eleven senators that was tasked with reviewing the state’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis. In her time as Chair of the Special Committee on Pandemic Emergency Response, Gonzalez led a series of hearings to inform and strengthen the strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, covering topics such as testing and contact tracing, workplace health and safety issues and K-12 distance learning.
Senator Gonzalez’s first bill, SB 1255 “The Equal Insurance HIV Act” was signed into law on September 26, 2020. The law prohibits life and disability income insurance companies from denying coverage to HIV-positive individuals solely based on their HIV status. A milestone in health equity, this law puts an end to the unjust practice of insurance companies discriminating against HIV-positive individuals.
In 2021, she was appointed Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, becoming the first Latina (o) to ever serve in this capacity and the only woman to serve in over 20 years. She was also appointed as Majority Whip, one of seven Democratic leadership positions in the California State Senate, and as an Ex-Officio board member of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
More recently, the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC) elected Senator Gonzalez as their Vice Chair, her two-year term began on December 5, 2022.
To date, Senator Gonzalez has authored legislation to protect the environment, defend LGBTQ+, women, and workers’ rights, advance digital equity, create equitable healthcare access, and support small businesses. Her landmark legislation includes, SB 616 Expanding Paid Sick Leave, SB 606 Workplace Safety Enforcement, SB 1137 Oil Well Setbacks to End Neighborhood Drilling, SB 4 Broadband for All, SB 245 The Abortion Accessibility Act, SB 961 The Equal Insurance HIV Act, SB 972 Supporting Street Food Vendors and AB 126 (SB 84) Incentivizing Clean Transportation.
Throughout her tenure in the Senate, Senator Gonzalez has been a staunch advocate, working tirelessly to secure essential funding for her district and to ensure a well-balanced and responsible budget each year to benefit all Californians.
She was instrumental in the passage of the state’s 2021 landmark $6 billion investment to expand broadband infrastructure and enhance internet access for unserved and underserved communities in California.
Senator Gonzalez also helped secure millions of dollars for Senate District 33 projects including funds for the cleanup of the community surrounding the Exide Technology Facility, local parks rehabilitation, a workforce development center, and a community health and wellness clinic. In 2022, she helped secure $250 million to rebuild Lynwood High School and over $17 million to enhance open spaces and address homelessness in the District. Most recently in 2023, she secured $23 million in funds to support local artists and art programs, aid in the completion of the West Santa Ana Branch Bikeway Project, strengthen capacity at the local level to address homelessness, and renovate historical sites, a senior center and more.
Prior to her time in the Senate, Gonzalez worked for Microsoft where she led social impact programs on digital skills, the future of work and criminal justice reform. She led efforts to expand diversity and inclusion in the tech sector and to promote programs for underserved communities, such as supports for young girls of color in STEM.
She served on the Long Beach City Council from 2014-2019, representing 50,000 residents in Downtown Long Beach, including the Port of Long Beach. In this role, she led efforts in environmentalism, workforce development, housing and digital inclusion. She proudly served the city for a decade, both as an elected official and former staff member.
Senator Gonzalez is the proud daughter of a union truck driver father and mother who emigrated from Aguascalientes, Mexico. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cal State Long Beach and a Master of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University. She lives in Long Beach with her family.