Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes and Senator Lena Gonzalez Elected as Next Latino Caucus Chair and Vice Chair
SACRAMENTO—Today, the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC) elected Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (Riverside) as the next Caucus Chair and Senator Lena Gonzalez (Long Beach) as the next Vice Chair. Their two-year terms will commence on December 5, 2022.
Assemblymember Cervantes is the first openly LGBTQ+ female, the first Latina millennial, and the first Inland Empire representative elected as Vice-Chair, and now, Chair of the CLLC. Cervantes is Chair of the Assembly Jobs Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on Veteran Employment and Education. She has fought to create well-paying jobs for working families; supported California’s small businesses as they recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; helped our veterans fulfill their dreams of higher education after they come home from serving in the Armed Forces; provided more protections for survivors of sexual assault, especially at our colleges and universities; increased access to maternal mental health services; and helped expand voting rights in California.
“It is an incredible honor to have been elected Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus,” said Assemblymember Cervantes. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Latino Caucus to uplift the nearly 16 million Latinos who are the backbone of California’s economy, the fifth largest in the world, and amplify their voices so they are heard loudly and clearly in Sacramento. I plan to lead our Caucus into the future by prioritizing meeting our diverse and changing Latino community where they are, and ensuring that we address the everyday concerns of Latino working families so that members of our Caucus can continue to sufficiently represent them and earn their support.”
Senator María Elena Durazo (Los Angeles), Chair of the Latino Caucus, said “I am so excited that the California Latino Legislative Caucus has elected Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes to serve as our Chair. Her life experiences as a woman, a millennial, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, have shaped her to be a courageous fighter for our Latino community.”
Senator Gonzalez is the first Latina to serve as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and the only woman to serve in the last 20 years. In addition, Senator Gonzalez also serves as Majority Whip, one of seven Democratic leadership positions in the California Senate. She represents Southeast Los Angeles, Signal Hill, portions of South Los Angeles and 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.
“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Latino Caucus for their confidence in my ability lead our dynamic group of legislators and champion the issues of greatest importance to our constituents,” said Senator Gonzalez. “Working together with Assemblymember Cervantes, we hope to continue the great work of our current Chair, Senator María Elena Durazo, to grow the caucus and marshal its collective influence in furtherance of the many and varied needs of all Californians.”
“I have served with Senator Gonzalez in the Senate since 2019. She has demonstrated a deep commitment to find policy solutions for big issues, ranging from environmental justice to the right of street vendors to earn a living. I know she will bring the same energy and passion to the Latino Caucus and help advance an ambitious agenda,” said Senator Durazo.
Senator Durazo’s two-year term as Caucus Chair ends on December 5, 2022. Over the course of her tenure, she has helped grow the caucus membership, secured historic legislative and budget victories and expanded the Caucus’ charitable investments, particularly its scholarship program. “Senator Durazo is a titan not only in the Latino Caucus and the State Senate, but in the labor movement and politics, both in California and across our country,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “I am so grateful for her leadership of our Caucus, and I look forward to working with her and our newly elected Vice Chair, State Senator Lena Gonzalez, during this transition period over the next several months.”
The California Latino Legislative Caucus is comprised of 30 State Legislators (9 Senators and 21 Assemblymembers) including a record high 17 Latinas, and it serves as a forum to develop avenues to empower the Latino community throughout California.