Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher

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Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
Gonzalez headshot.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 80th district
Assumed office
May 28, 2013
Preceded by Ben Hueso
Personal details
Born (1971-09-16) September 16, 1971 (age 46)
Oceanside, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Nathan Fletcher
Children 2
Residence San Diego, California
Alma mater Stanford University (BA)
Georgetown University (MA)
University of California, Los Angeles (JD)
Profession Labor organizer

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher is an American politician currently serving in the California State Assembly. A Democrat, she represents the 80th Assembly District, which encompasses southern San Diego and is the southernmost Assembly district in the state.

Gonzalez Fletcher was first elected to the Assembly in a 2013 special election to replace then-Assemblymember Ben Hueso, who was elected to the State Senate in a special election. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, she served as secretary-treasurer and CEO of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

The current Vice-Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Gonzalez Fletcher became the first Latina to ever serve as the Chair of the powerful Assembly Appropriations Committee in 2016. In December 2016, POLITICO Magazine named her one of its Top 50 "thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics."[1] In 2015, The Atlantic magazine labeled her as "the California Democrat setting the national agenda."[2]

Gonzalez Fletcher successfully sponsored and passed multiple pieces of legislation in California aimed at increasing healthcare access, making the justice system more fair, and putting more protections in place for workers. In 2016, she helped fight to raise the minimum wage in California, which will now increase by $1/year until full implementation at $15/hour in 2020.

Early life, education, and personal life[edit]

Gonzalez Fletcher is the daughter of an immigrant farmworker and a nurse. She attended public schools in San Diego County before earning a bachelor's degree from Stanford University, a master's degree from Georgetown University, and a Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law.

Gonzalez served as Senior Adviser to former California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, as well as appointee to the California State Lands Commission and alternate on the California Coastal Commission. A community organizer and activist, Gonzalez was elected in 2008 as CEO and Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO. She is the first woman and person of color to be elected to head the Labor Council since the organization was founded in 1891.

On January 1, 2017, she married former assemblyman Nathan Fletcher; the two had been dating since 2015.[3] Gonzalez Fletcher lives in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego with her husband and the couple's four children.[4]

California government career[edit]

2005 San Diego City Council race[edit]

Gonzalez ran for San Diego City Council during a 2005 special election and advanced to a runoff against future San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. However, Gonzalez ultimately lost the race to Faulconer by a margin of 724 votes out of 29,448 cast.[5]

California State Assembly[edit]

Gonzalez was elected to California's 80th State Assembly district in a special election held May 21, 2013. She defeated former Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Castaneda with 70.75% of the vote.[6]

Gonzalez Fletcher currently serves on the Assembly Committee on Education, the Assembly Committee on Health, the Assembly Committee on Insurance, the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife; and the Assembly Committee on Rules.[7] She is also the first Chair of the Select Committee on Women in the Workplace.[8]

2014 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 80th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lorena Gonzalez (incumbent) 25,953 100.0
Total votes 25,953 100.0
General election
Democratic Lorena Gonzalez (incumbent) 43,362 100.0
Total votes 43,362 100.0
Democratic hold

2016 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 80th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lorena Gonzalez (incumbent) 55,150 74.6
Republican Lincoln Pickard 14,015 19.0
No party preference Louis J. Marinelli 4,753 6.4
Total votes 73,918 100.0
General election
Democratic Lorena Gonzalez (incumbent) 84,780 76.7
Republican Lincoln Pickard 25,703 23.3
Total votes 110,483 100.0

Legislation[edit]

Lorena Gonzalez marching in the 2014 San Diego LGBT Pride Parade

Several pieces of Gonzalez Fletcher's legislation have been among the only bills to secure passage and signature by the California Governor despite being opposed strongly by the Chamber of Commerce.[9]

Education[edit]

Fletcher created AB 746, which requires public schools to test their drinking water for lead.[10] This legislation was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2017.[11] Fletcher sponsored a law requiring school children to get vaccinated unless they have a medical exemption.[12]

Healthcare[edit]

Fletcher sponsored AB 2051, which makes it easier for affiliate primary care clinics to enroll into Medi-Cal and Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment.[13][14] Fletcher sponsored AB 2347, which requires specific notices to be placed on the cover page of annuities and life insurance policies.[15]

Housing[edit]

AB 250, which will help promote more low-coast lodging options along California’s coast.[16] Fletcher sponsored AB 2104, which allows residents to implement drought-tolerant landscaping without drawing penalties from homeowners associations.[17][18]

Justice system[edit]

In 2018, Fletcher sponsored AB 1584, which banned the unusual and possibly unconstitutional San Diego Police Department policy of regularly taking DNA samples from minors without first getting parental permission, a warrant or a conviction, and uploading that information to their database for later reference.[19] The bill passed with unanimous support in January 2018.[20] Fletcher has also created legislation that allows a person to challenge a criminal plea if that person has already served the punishment and wasn’t properly advised of the plea’s impact on his or her immigration status.[21]

Transportation[edit]

Fletcher's AB 805 legislation brought a series of reforms to San Diego County’s regional transportation agency, and the San Diego Association of Governments.[22]

Voter protections[edit]

Fletcher authored bills streamlining the state’s voter-registration process,[23] has enabled voters to designate any person of their choosing to return a completed mail ballot to the proper drop-off location or post office.[24] Other bills introduced by Gonzalez and signed into law in 2014 include AB 1873, which allows San Diego County to fill special election vacancies for Congress and the state Legislature by mail ballot until 2020.[25][26]

Worker protections[edit]

Fletcher fought to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour, which passed and will raise the wage by $1/year until it's completely implemented across the state in 2020.[27]

Among some of the signature pieces of legislation authored by Gonzalez Fletcher are bills enabling millions of Californians to earn paid sick leave[28] and making hundreds of thousands of California farmworkers eligible for overtime pay.[29] Fletcher has also authored legislation designed to close the gender pay gap.[30] as well as AB 2053, which adds instructions on abusive conduct (bullying) to workplace sexual harassment training.[31][32]

In January 2014, Gonzalez introduced AB 1522, which requires employers grant sick days to part-time employees.[33] The legislation was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2014, granting paid sick leave to about 6.5 million Californians.[34] In 2015, Gonzalez introduced a measure that would require double pay when a company makes workers come in on the Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays.[35] In 2016, Fletcher successfully passed a bill to protect janitorial workers from sexual harassment.[36] She also authored a variety of bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Among these were bills to ensure that anyone injured in California receives fair and just civil compensation regardless of their immigration status.[37] She also created legislation that helped ensure nail-salon owners and employees are better-educated about workers’ rights.[38]

In 2017, Fletcher authored AB 480, which was signed into law and enables certain parents who participate in the state’s welfare-to-work program to become eligible for subsidies to afford diapers for their children.[39] This made California the first state in the nation to help low-income working parents afford diapers for their children.[40]

Also in 2017, she authored – and the governor signed -- AB 1221, which requires that bartenders receive training to recognize when a customer has had too much to drink.[41] She authored this bill after two University of California at San Diego medical-school students were killed by a drunk driver.[42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "#35: Lorena Gonzalez – The POLITICO 50". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-29. 
  2. ^ Libby, Sara. "How One California Democrat Is Reshaping the Democratic Party". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2018-01-03. 
  3. ^ Myers, John (January 2, 2017). "Gonzalez rings in new year with surprise marriage to Fletcher". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Lorena Gonzalez - Official Biography". http://asmdc.org/. California State Assembly Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "Election History - Council District 2" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO SPECIAL CONSOLIDATED ELECTION Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Official Results" (PDF). sdvote.com. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Committee Assignments". http://asmdc.org. California State Assembly Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "Speaker John A. Pérez Creates Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, Names Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez as Chair". asmdc.org. California State Assembly Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "All But Three CalChamber Opposed Bills Die". 
  10. ^ Service, City News. "Governor Signs Bill Requiring Lead Tests In Public Schools". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  11. ^ "Bill Text - AB-746 Public health: potable water systems: lead testing: schoolsites". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  12. ^ Haelle, Tara. "California Vaccination Bill SB 277 Signed By Governor, Becomes Law". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  13. ^ "AB 2051, Gonzalez. Medi-Cal: providers: affiliate primary care clinics". http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ Gorn, David. "New Law To Shorten Medi-Cal Application Process for Community Clinic Startups". http://www.californiahealthline.org. http://www.californiahealthline.org. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ "AB 2347, Gonzalez. Insurance policies". http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ "Bill Text - AB-250 State Coastal Conservancy: Lower Cost Coastal Accommodations Program". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  17. ^ "AB 2104, Gonzalez. Common interest developments". http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ Nichols, Chris. "'Brown is beautiful' landscaping bill signed by governor". http://www.utsandiego.com/. http://www.utsandiego.com/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/public-safety/bill-dna-minors-gonzalez/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billVotesClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB1584.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Bill Text - AB-813 Criminal procedure: postconviction relief". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  22. ^ "Bill Text - AB-805 County of San Diego: transportation agencies". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  23. ^ McGreevy, Patrick. "Jerry Brown OKs automatic voter registration through DMV – LA Times". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  24. ^ "Bill Text - AB-1921 Elections: vote by mail ballots". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  25. ^ "AB 1873, Gonzalez. Special mail ballot elections: San Diego County". http://www.leginfo.ca.gov. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  26. ^ Nichols, Chris. "Brown signs mail-ballot election bill". http://www.utsandiego.com/. http://www.utsandiego.com/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  27. ^ "California minimum wage: Historic increase to $15 an hour passes Legislature". The Mercury News. 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  28. ^ Nichols, Chris. "Governor signs paid sick leave bill". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  29. ^ "In historic move, Gov. Jerry Brown expands overtime pay for California farmworkers". Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-12. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  30. ^ Radio, Southern California Public (2017-09-11). "Your co-workers' salary data could be made public". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  31. ^ "AB 2053, Gonzalez. Employment discrimination or harassment: education and training: abusive conduct". http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  32. ^ Joseph, Brian. "Here Are All the New State Laws Written by San Diego Legislators". http://voiceofsandiego.org. Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  33. ^ "AB-1522 Employment: paid sick days". https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website=, |publisher= (help)
  34. ^ "Jerry Brown signs bill requiring employers to give paid sick leave". http://www.sacbee.com/. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  35. ^ Tribune, San Diego Union. "California bill would double holiday pay". 
  36. ^ "Bill Text - AB-1978 Employment: property service workers". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  37. ^ "Bill Text - AB-2159 Evidence: immigration status". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  38. ^ "Bill Text - AB-2025 Barbering and cosmetology: labor law education requirements". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  39. ^ "Brown Signs Bills Providing Free Tampons, Expanding Family Leave". KQED News. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  40. ^ "Bill Text - AB-480 CalWORKs: welfare-to-work: necessary supportive services". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  41. ^ "Bill Text - AB-1221 Alcoholic beverage control: Responsible Beverage Service Training Program Act of 2017". leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  42. ^ "Tragic Deaths of UCSD Students Prompted Bill: Assemblywoman". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 

External links[edit]