In the News

December 03, 2023
State Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), who wrote SB 252, commended CalPERS for taking a step in the right direction, but said the strategy won’t stop the divestment push.
While it is encouraging to see CalPERS officials start to take seriously calls to dump fossil fuels and prioritize renewable energy, their solution would only prolong the power and influence of an industry whose reckless and deceitful actions going back decades continue to fuel a worsening climate catastrophe. It seems clear that the only way to ensure that public pension funds move out of this risky business is by forcing them to do so through legislation.
October 18, 2023


State Sen. Lena Gonzalez visited Long Beach’s MacArthur Park this week to announce a $2 million allocation to support homelessness services in the city, with $750,000 intended to help recently incarcerated people find housing and avoid recidivism.

Gonzalez made the presentation on Monday, Oct. 16, as volunteers gathered at the park to give those who are homeless clothes, food and water under the city’s bimonthly Monday Matters program.

Gonzalez, who represents the Senate’s 33th District, said California “is taking a proactive approach in mitigating the homeless crisis,” and the money will serve to provide more services for the most vulnerable populations at risk of becoming unhoused, or already experiencing homelessness.

October 17, 2023

LONG BEACH — Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) Oct. 16 presented $2 Million in funds during Monday Matters at MacArthur Park in the City of Long Beach, a bi-monthly resource fair where volunteers help provide essential supplies to unhoused neighbors. Of the funds awarded, $1.25 million will be utilized to enhance the capacity of service providers to assist individuals at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. The remaining sum of $750,000 will be directed towards enhancing the city’s Reentry Services Program.

October 05, 2023

SACRAMENTO.- Los trabajadores de California pronto recibirán un mínimo de cinco días de licencia por enfermedad remunerada al año, en lugar de tres, según una nueva ley firmada el miércoles por el gobernador Gavin Newsom.

“Esta es una oportunidad para brindar dos días más de enfermedad a las personas para que puedan quedarse en casa y recuperarse de una enfermedad y con esperanza sentirse mejor y regresar”, dijo Lena González, senadora por el Distrito 33 y una de las propulsoras del proyecto de ley SB 616.

Según la senadora González, California estaba rezagada con esta legislación ya que doce estados de la nación ya cuentan con leyes similares. La legislación prohibirá, además, represalias por parte de los empleadores.

October 05, 2023


Some California workers are in line to earn more sick days starting in January, as Gov. Gavin Newsom handed labor advocates another victory. 
The governor on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 616 from state Sen. Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach. The new law requires employers to allow their workers to accrue five days of sick leave each year, up from the current statewide minimum of three days. Workers can start accruing those extra days beginning Jan. 1, 2024. 
Gonzalez said she authored the bill out of concern that workers would not have enough sick days if they or a child fell ill with COVID-19. 
“This reinforces our state’s values and commitment to protecting the health and well-being of our workers,” Gonzalez said in a statement Tuesday.
October 04, 2023


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Workers in California will soon receive a minimum of five days of paid sick leave annually, instead of three, under a new law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Wednesday.

September 13, 2023


Gonzalez said the pandemic acted as a good test case for extended sick leave, and the temporary policies are proof that they can succeed without decimating businesses.
“The economy wasn’t falling apart. The state still remained healthy,” Gonzalez said. “And fortunately, more importantly, the workforce felt supported.”
September 13, 2023


COVID-19 left people unable to work for significant periods, Gonzalez said, and federal and state laws ensured they got the supplemental recovery time and sick pay to avoid infecting co-workers and suffering financial setbacks. Even now, it can take five days or longer for COVID-19 to clear the body, supporters say.

“Families no longer have the temporary protections afforded by COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, which ended last year,” Gonzalez said. “This back-to-school season, let’s commit to ensuring that parents can take the sick leave they need to take care of their health and the health of their children.”

September 01, 2023


California Senate Majority Whip Lena Gonzalez (D-33), who spearheaded SJR 2, declared Friday that "it is essential that we commit once and for all to ending our reliance on fossil fuels. People around the world, especially low-income people of color, are suffering the adverse health impacts of fossil fuel pollution, from asthma to cancer. The recent devastating fires and hurricanes emphasize the urgency of taking action, to prevent further extreme weather changes."

August 23, 2023
By Katie Hyson / Racial Justice and Social Equity Reporter
Contributors: Bennett Lacy / Producer
It’s a common dilemma. Nearly two-thirds of Californians live paycheck to paycheck. Missing a day of work without pay can mean not putting food on the table or making rent.
Barlage, who also leads the Fair Workweek LA Coalition, is one of many labor advocates pushing California lawmakers to increase the minimum paid sick days from three to seven per year.
“Companies aren’t going to give it to us,” Barlage said. “It’s going to be our politicians who recognize workers as the strong build of this community.”
State Senator Lena Gonzalez, (D-Long Beach), who sponsored SB 616, also argued three days is not enough time for survivors of sexual assault to recover before returning to work. A 2022 report said one in seven adults in California had experienced sexual violence in the past year.