Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez was elected in May of 2013, promising to fight for our state's working and middle classes, and she hasn't stopped yet. In her first three months in office, Lorena authored two bills that empowered California's immigrant communities by providing them safeguards against immigration fraud and allowing qualified DREAMers who pass the State Bar exam to practice law, regardless of their immigration status. Then, in 2014, Lorena authored historic legislation to allow 6.5 million Californians the ability to earn paid sick leave. When AB 1522 was signed by Governor Brown, California became the first state in the nation to guarantee earned sick days for every single private sector worker.
Assemblywoman Gonzalez also passed legislation prohibiting HOAs from fining homeowners for replacing grass lawns with drought resistant landscaping, created the first workplace bullying training requirement in the nation, and paved the way for stronger safety standards for high school student athletes by classifying high school cheerleading as a sport. She also co-authored the nation’s toughest rules to close the gender pay gap, and passed California’s New Motor Voter Act to streamline the registration for nearly seven million eligible voters.
The daughter of an immigrant farmworker and a nurse, Lorena learned the value of hard work and determination at an early age. After graduating from public school in San Diego County, she earned a Bachelor's Degree from Stanford University, a Master's Degree from Georgetown University and a Law Degree from UCLA. She is a member of the California State Bar.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Lorena was the first woman and first person of color to be elected CEO and Secretary-Treasurer for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO since the organization's inception in 1891. Lorena also previously worked as the Senior Advisor to California's Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante and she served on the California State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission.
Assemblywoman Gonzalez currently serves as the first Latina in California history to Chair the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and as Chair of the Select Committee on Women in the Workforce.
For her work in the community, Lorena received the California State Bar Association's first Presidential Recognition Award for Public Service, the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s Legacy Award for her career supporting immigrants and working families, and was named the Neighborhood Market Association's 2014 Public Official of the Year.
Nonetheless, Lorena's most cherished title is that of mother. Her daughter, Tierra, is studying at New York University and her son, Antonio, is in middle school in San Diego. Lorena lives in City Heights neighborhood of San Diego.