Nell Soto

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Nell Soto (June 18, 1926 – February 26, 2009) was an American politician. Soto represented the 61st Assembly district (including parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties and the cities of Ontario, Pomona, Chino and Montclair) from 1998 to 2000 and again from 2006 to 2008. She served two terms as a state senator for the 32nd district from 2000 to 2006.

Soto served on the Pomona city council from 1986 until 1998. Soto also served on the South Coast Air Quality Management District.[1] She was the first Latina from the San Gabriel Valley to be elected to that position.[citation needed] In 2006, she authored legislation that included expansion of the Nell Soto Teacher Involvement program, improving foster care licensing, and improving welfare to work programs.

Soto was married to Phil Soto, a pioneering Latino politician in California's history.[2] Soto died February 26, 2009 after months of declining health.[3]

Media coverage[edit]

In 2007, Soto was criticized for not being in Sacramento for 25 days while she was out sick, and collecting a total of $22,032 as a per diem. This money is a standard amount paid out to legislators not just for travel and living expenses, as she was criticized for, but also to pay for district office space, utilities, and staff resources etc. An assembly member maintains two offices, one in Sacramento and one in the district. Soto maintained these offices and staff during her recuperation period, and did not just use the money as accused by the reporter for personal apartment rent as alleged. "The rent for the apartment (and her offices) wasn't waived by the landlords" while she was at home recuperating, as explained by Greg Schmidt, the Secretary of the California State Senate.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nell Soto". JoinCalifornia. 
  2. ^ [1] New York Times Obituary: Phil Soto, Hispanic Political Leader, Dies at 71 (Nov. 6, 1997)
  3. ^ [2] Los Angeles Times Obituary: Nell Soto dies at 82; California state senator championed environmental protection (Feb. 27, 2009)
  4. ^ http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/251890.html
California Assembly
Preceded by
Fred Aguiar
California State Assemblyperson
61st district

1998–2000
Succeeded by
Gloria Negrete McLeod
Preceded by
Gloria Negrete McLeod
California State Assemblyperson
61st district

2006–2008
Succeeded by
Norma Torres
California Senate
Preceded by
Joe Baca
California State Senator
32nd district

2000–2006
Succeeded by
Gloria Negrete McLeod