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 2015, The Atlantic Magazine labeled her “The California Democrat setting the National Agenda” for her practical, progressive legislation aimed at alleviating real issues in people’s lives.
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 regardless of employer size or sector. The next year, Lorena brought the idea of Automatic Voter Registration to life for nearly seven million unregistered citizens by authoring and passing California’s New Motor Voter Act. In 2017, Lorena succeeded in making California the first state in the nation to subsidize diapers for parents in need -- hardworking mothers and fathers struggling to juggle job and parenting responsibilities. AB 480, the Diaper Affordability Act, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Oct. 12, 2017.
Lorena has passed critical bills to protect the jobs of grocery workers, fight the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, create the first workplace bullying training requirement in the nation, limit excessive CEO compensation in the utility industry, protect immigrant communities from legal services fraud and mandate that public schools test their drinking water for lead. Taking on women’s equity issues large and small, Lorena co-authored the nation’s toughest rules to close the gender pay gap and wrote the legislation that finally forced California to classify high school cheerleading as a sport.
Lorena is the first Latina in California history to Chair the Assembly Appropriations Committee. She is also Chairwoman of the Select Committee on Women in the Workplace. She served as Chair of the Latino Caucus from 2018-2020, with her term ending in October 2020.
Lorena’s father immigrated to California from Mexico and initially worked in the strawberry fields in North San Diego County. Her mother was a nurse. Lorena is a graduate of Stanford University, has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a Law Degree from UCLA. She remains a member in good standing of the California State Bar.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Lorena was a labor leader and organizer, serving as 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. 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.
Lorena’s most cherished title, nonetheless, is that of mother. In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, Lorena and her husband, Nathan Fletcher, have a home with four of their children. Lorena's eldest child, her daughter Tierra, lives in Los Angeles.