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From 50 years ago to now: The Cal­i­fornia Latino Leg­islative Caucus

Source: (Spectrum News/Daniela Pardo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In 1973, five Latino legislators formed the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC) to address the social and economic issues affecting the Latino community.

Todaythe CLLC is made up of 38 members and is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Assembly member Sabrina Cervantes is the first openly LGBTQ woman to Chair the Latino Legislative Caucus. She oversees the most diverse group of members since the caucus’ inception.

“Members that are not just identifying as Mexican, but Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, so it’s wonderful to be able to lead a caucus of this diversity. And with a Latina majority for the first time in history with 21 Latina members,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes, who has served in the State Assembly since 2016, says she’s proud of the work all the members who have come before her have done to help her get to where she is now. 

“Since its founding 50 years ago, we are looking at five decades of transformational legislation that has impacted our Latino community in California,” Cervantes said. “When I think about the last 50 years, I think about justice, I think about representation, where we’re fighting for economic justice, we’re fighting for environmental justice, housing affordability, health care access for our most vulnerable, our undocumented community.”

Former Assembly member Gloria Molina, who was the first Latina elected to the State Assembly, is a major inspiration for Cervantes as she now leads the caucus.

“Someone like her has been a trailblazer, who has faced many battles on her own just to be that first. Because of her, it opened the door for so many of us here today and we acknowledge that,” Cervantes said.