December 6, 2002

Latino Political Clout Strengthens as the Caucus Continues to Grow and Gain Key Positions

SACRAMENTO — A new class of Latino Caucus Members were sworn in today at the State Capitol increasing the Caucus’ numbers and influence in the State Legislature. The new crop of Legislators bring a wide array of perspectives and experience to Sacramento.

“This is an exciting day for us as a Caucus,” said Majority Floor Leader Marco Antonio Firebaugh, Chair of the Latino Caucus. “Our Caucus is ready to work on the complex issues that affect California’s working families. Our immediate priority is to address our looming budget shortfall and ensure that the budget is not balanced on the backs of our most vulnerable communities, our children and seniors.”

Latino Caucus Members hold key positions in both houses of the Legislature:

In the Assembly, in addition to holding the Majority Floor Leader position, Latino Caucus Members chair the Budget, Business and Professions, Health, Insurance, Local Government, Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security, Revenue and Taxation, and Utilities and Commerce Committees.

In the Senate, Latino Caucus Members hold the Democratic Caucus Chair position, and chair the Business and Professions, Health, Judiciary, Labor, Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committees.

“We have our work cut out for us,” said Firebaugh. “Our Caucus will meet in January to formulate our annual policy agenda and determine the direction of our Caucus for this upcoming Legislative year. I welcome the new Members of our Caucus and look forward to working with them to ensure our continued success.”

The new Latino Caucus Members include: Gilbert Cedillo, Senator, 22nd District; Denise Moreno Ducheny, Senator, 40th District; Dean Florez, Senator, 16th District; Rudy Bermudez, Assembly Member, 56th District; Ron Calderon, Assembly Member, 58th District; Cindy Montañez, Assembly Member, 39th District; Fabian Nuñez, Assembly Member, 46th District; Nicole Parra, Assembly Member, 30th District.

Since its inception in 1973 with five Assembly Members, the Caucus has experienced tremendous growth. During the 2002 election cycle the Caucus grew from 22 to 24 Members. The Members of the Caucus represent the diverse geographical regions throughout the State.

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