- Cassandra Kester
- (951) 371-6860
SACRAMENTO—On Monday, December 5, Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) and Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) were sworn in to the California State Legislature, marking the start of their leadership as Chair and Vice-Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC). Their two-year terms commenced on Monday, December 5, 2022. Chairs are limited to one, two-year term.
The year 2023 is especially historic as the CLLC celebrates 50 years since its inception in 1973, and boasts a new record number of thirty-five members, whom are a majority Latina—including eleven Senators, twenty-four Assemblymembers and three auxiliary members (constitutional officers).
“It is a privilege to be passed the gavel as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, especially in this consequential year when our Caucus celebrates 50 years in the State Legislature. With a new record of Latino legislators and the highest number of Latinas in the state’s history, our Caucus is reflective of our richly diverse Latino communities!” said Assemblymember Cervantes, Latino Caucus Chair. “I look forward to working with our new Vice-Chair, Senator Lena Gonzalez, and Caucus members to amplify the stories and voices of the nearly 16 million Latinos who are the backbone of California’s economy—the fifth largest in the world—and ensure our issues are championed through policy at our State Capitol. Latino economic mobility is necessary to build a more inclusive economic future for ALL; when our state’s fastest growing demographic thrives, California thrives.”
Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes is the first openly LGBTQ+ female, the first Latina millennial, and the first Inland Empire representative to serve 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 represents California’s 58th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Grand Terrace, Jurupa Valley, Riverside, and unincorporated communities in the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. During her tenure, 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.
“I am honored and excited to serve as Vice Chair of the Latino Caucus to make positive change and advocate for our diverse Latino communities in California. My sincere appreciation goes out to Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Robert Rivas for all their hard work and dedication as leaders of the caucus these past years and I look forward to working alongside our new Chair Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes to tackle important issues that matter to our communities and to create a stronger, better tomorrow,” said Senator Lena Gonzalez, Latino Caucus Vice Chair.
Senator Lena 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. 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. 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.
Senator María Elena Durazo’s two-year term as Caucus Chair ended 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.
“I am grateful for the leadership of Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Robert Rivas, who led our Caucus fiercely, saw its expansion to a record number of Members, and harnessed the collective influence of the caucus to secure monumental policy and budget victories to advance opportunities and greater outcomes for California Latinos,” Chair Cervantes concluded.
California Latino Legislative Caucus Members Elected to the Legislature and Statewide Offices in 2022 can be found here.
Since its creation in 1973, the California Latino Legislative Caucus has grown in number and stature. There are now a record 35 legislative members of the Caucus, including a historic majority of 21 Latina members. The Caucus boasts a rich history of empowerment, legislative and political success and serves as one of the most influential and strategic organizations in California focusing primarily on improving the quality of life for California’s Latino working families.