Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 80

Photo of Lorena Gonzalez

Lorena Gonzalez

State Assemblywoman/Mother
55,150 votes (74.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • My top priority continues to be the creation of good, sustainable jobs in California by ensuring women are treated fairly on the job and directing our tax dollars to support sustainable, middle-class careers.
  • I'm also focused on expanding civic participation by eliminating barriers to voter registration, expanding mail voting, and protecting the right to vote for all eligible Californians.
  • Finally, we must continue to make California a place where people from around the world can come to succeed on a level playing field, by further normalizing the lives of all immigrants in our state.



Assemblywoman, California State Assembly District 80 — Elected position (2013–current)
Secretary-Treasurer and CEO, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO (2007–2013)


Stanford University B.A.
Georgetown University M.A.


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 Workplace.

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.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 
Answer from Lorena Gonzalez:

A long-term commitment to water recycling and lifestyle changes to reduce our water use will be critical as climate change continues impacting our traditional water supplies. I strongly supported California's Proposition 1 water bond to fund a wide range of water projects and passed AB 2104 to protect homeowners installing drought-resistant landscaping.

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Lorena Gonzalez:

I supported California's DISCLOSE Act (AB 700) to better inform voters about the money behind political ads and AJR 1 to allow Californians to vote on the importance of addressing the Citizens' United decision. Additionally, I authored California's New Motor Voter Act to make our electoral process more accessible and streamline the direct influence of individual voters.

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Lorena Gonzalez:

I am a long-time champion of raising the minimum wage and was proud to be a co-author of this year's successful legislation to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?
Answer from Lorena Gonzalez:

Protecting and expanding basic worker rights, including fair wages, equitable overtime, and paid leave; Working towards a tax system that does not rely on working families paying more than their fair share; Ensuring that investment in public works and expanded services prioritize traditionally underserved communities.

Who gave money to this candidate?


More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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