Jimmy Gomez was first elected in November of 2012 and subsequently reelected in 2014 with over 83% of the vote to represent California’s 51st Assembly District, which includes Northeast Los Angeles and unincorporated East Los Angeles.
Assemblymember Gomez has proven to be a national champion on the issue of Paid Family Leave and a key figure in the California legislature by authoring landmark legislation to address public health, environmental justice, water conservation, access to education, civic engagement, campaign finance disclosure in the wake of Citizens United, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, LGBT rights and affordable housing. In only his second term, Gomez served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Born and raised in Southern California, Assemblymember Gomez is the child of immigrant parents who moved to California from Mexico in the early 1970s. Often working multiple jobs just to make ends meet, his parents instilled in him a strong sense of family and work ethic.
His parent’s struggle of caring for family, while trying to provide in times of illness and emergency, prompted Gomez to author and pass the nation’s most progressive expansion of Paid Family Leave. Assemblymember Gomez’ Assembly Bill 908, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown and hailed as a model for Congress by President Obama, expanded California’s Paid Family Leave program to work for all who pay into it and allow those on the lowest rungs of the state’s economic ladder to afford the very program they are helping fund. Following the passage of AB 908, President Obama released the following statement:
“I applaud the California State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown for expanding paid family leave in their state today. This action means more hardworking Californians will have the peace of mind to know that they can take care of a new child or a sick family member. This is great news for California… Congress needs to catch up to California – and to countries all over the world – by acting to guarantee paid family leave to all Americans.” – President Barack Obama
Strengthening families by improving access to education and healthcare and protecting the rights of workers has been a driving force behind many of Assemblymember Gomez’ legislative efforts. After graduating from high school, Assemblymember Gomez found work where he could – at a fast-food restaurant and a local superstore working from 5pm to 9am the next day. After several months of working both jobs, and with the memory of his parents’ struggle to make ends meet...something just clicked! He now clearly understood the need of a good job with benefits, and most importantly a quality education. With this newfound clarity, he enrolled in community college and ultimately transferred to UCLA, where he graduated magna cum laude and later earned a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Assemblymember Gomez recognizes that his story today, although not unique, is a lot harder to achieve and out of reach for far too many.
Through legislation, Assemblymember Gomez has successfully lead efforts to increase access to higher education, promote healthy families and communities, restore the LA River, protect our environment, keep affordable housing affordable, safeguard the rights of undocumented minors, increase youth voter education and civic engagement, expand access for disabled Californians, protect patient access, increase real dollars being spent on domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs, protect small businesses from predatory ADA lawsuits and empower local communities to stop illegal massage parlors. During the peak of California’s drought, Assemblymember Gomez played a key role in negotiating and authoring the 20014 $7.5 billion Water Bond and secured $900 million ground water clean-up and $100 million specifically for LA River greening and revitalization.
Assemblymember Gomez continues to pave the way for progressive legislation to elevate and promote environmental justice, education access, healthcare access and workers’ rights.
Prior to being elected to the Legislature, Assemblymember Gomez served as Political Director of the United Nurses Associations of California and brings with him over a decade of experience in local, state and national politics, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), National League of Cities, Democratic National Committee, office of former L.A. City Councilman Michael Feuer, and the office of former Congresswoman Hilda Solis.
Assemblymember Gomez lives in Eagle Rock with his wife Mary, and dog Austin.
Assemblymember Gomez has received the following awards for his leadership in the legislature:
- Habitat for Humanity California: Legacy Award, 2016
- Planned Parenthood Los Angeles: Champion of Choice Award, 2015
- Faculty Association of California Community Colleges: Freshman Legislator of the Year, 2014
- California Clean Money Campaign Champion, DISCLOSE Act, 2015
- Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters: Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Award 2016
- Inner City Struggle: Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez Leadership Award 2015
- East Los Business Association, Advocacy Award 2016
- Unites Nurses Associations of California, Community Leader of the Year 2013
- California Women in Agriculture Cornucopia Award, 2016
- Community Health Center Champion Award, 2016
California Podiatric Medical Association 2014 Legislature of the Year
- California Community College EOPS Association Hero Award 2013 for AB 595
- Audubon Center, Debs Park: 2016 Puro Audubon Award
- California Victim Compensation Program, Excellence in Victims Rights Award 2014