In 2014, she became a vital part of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins new leadership team when she was named Assistant Majority Floor Leader. She was also elected Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. In addition, Assemblymember Garcia currently serves on the following legislative committees: Government Organization, Judiciary, Ethics, Water Parks and Wildlife, Natural Resources and Utilities and Commerce.
In addition to being a legislator, Assemblymember Garcia is also a Commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, working at the forefront of making impressive change for California’s women and girls.
Before being elected to public office, Cristina Garcia had already staked her claim as a warrior for ethical conduct in local and state government. When the City of Bell corruption scandal broke, gaining national attention, Bell residents turned to Cristina to take action. She worked with concerned citizens to form the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA), a local advocacy organization that forced Bell’s corrupt officials out of office and ushered in accountability and transparency for the first time in the city’s history.
As a legislator, under a black cloud of corruption that hung over the state Capitol, Assemblymember Garcia introduced a wide ranging ethics and transparency package of bills, the “Political Conduct, Ethics and Public Trust Acts of 2014,” written to reform our political structure and help to restore the public’s trust in their government. Through the political turmoil, she succeeded in her legislative efforts and was rewarded when Governor Jerry Brown signed five of her reform measures into law.
AB 1673 - Eliminating Influence Peddling: prevent lobbyists from hosting political fundraisers at their homes and offices.
AB 1666 - Penalties & Bribes: would double the existing restitution fines amounts and prohibit the use of campaign funds to pay a restitution fine under this section.
AB 1692 - Personal Use of Campaign Funds: to prevent campaign funds from being used to pay for fines that are the result of abuse of personal use of campaign funds laws.
AB 1596 - Vote by Mail: require all vote-by-mail applications, when completed, to be mailed directly to the county registrar’s office and not to middlemen or political campaign organizations.
AB 1596 was Assemblymember Garcia’s “There Ought to be a Law” contest winner in 2014.
AB 2040 - Detailed Disclosure of Government Compensation: requires salary details to be publically disclosed on the local government websites.
Equal to being a tireless activist for higher ethical standards in government, Cristina is a passionate advocate on issues concerning Women and Children. Today, as a statewide leader, Assemblymember Garcia continues her efforts to protect and educate our state’s children and is dedicated to empowering women on all levels. This includes being a mentor to encourage more women to run and hold positions in public office.
Assemblymember Garcia launched her Young Legislator’s program in 2014 to mentor high school students in her district to become the leaders of tomorrow. The Young Legislators are given hands-on experience, working within their communities, as they participate in local events hosted by Assemblymember Garcia’s district office. Young Legislators who successfully complete the program travel to the State Capitol in Sacramento where they participate in bill development, mock committee hearings and a floor session in the State Assembly chambers.
A math teacher for thirteen years prior to joining the Assembly, Cristina taught statistics at the University of Southern California, mathematics at Los Angeles City Community College and taught middle school and high school mathematics through the Jaime Escalante Program at East Los Angeles Community College and at Huntington Park High School.
As a teacher, Cristina understood the damage to students that bullying created, on both an emotional and physical level. This inspired her in 2012 to author AB 256, Cyber-Bulling legislation giving educators the authority to discipline students who engage in cyber bullying - harassment by electronic means – on, or away, from the school campus. AB 256 was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2013.
Cristina lives in the in the Southeast Los Angeles community of Bell Gardens, where she was raised and attended local public schools. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Pomona College, a Master’s Degree and a Secondary teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University and is presently a doctoral candidate at USC.
Cristina has been recognized by California Forward with the distinguished California Forward Thinkers Award, previously earned the Distinguished Woman of the Year Award from the California State Assembly. In 2013 the Latino Journal & CAFÉ de California, presented the Spirit of Latina Award to Assemblymember Garcia for her “exemplary work to strengthen California’s Democracy and advance the representation of Latinas in Public Service.”