Cristina Garcia (politician)

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Cristina Garcia
Garcia headshot.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 58th district
Assumed office
December 3, 2012
Preceded by new district
Personal details
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Bell Gardens, California

Cristina Garcia is an American politician in the California State Assembly. She is a Democrat representing the 58th district, encompassing parts of southeastern Los Angeles County. Prior to being elected to the state assembly, she was a teacher and a community activist involved in the City of Bell scandal with the group BASTA.

Garcia was elected to the state Assembly in November 2012, and re-elected in 2014, representing California’s 58th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera and Norwalk. In 2014 she became a part of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins's new leadership team when she was named Assistant Majority Floor Leader. She was also elected Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. Garcia as of 2015 she served on legislative committees on: Government Organization, Judiciary, Ethics, Water Parks and Wildlife, Natural Resources and Utilities and Commerce.

Garcia, in addition to being a legislator, is a Commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

Before being elected to public office, Cristina Garcia fought for ethical conduct in local and state government.[citation needed] When the City of Bell corruption scandal broke, Garcia worked with concerned citizens to form the local advocacy organization Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA). after which Bell’s corrupt officials lost office[citation needed].

As a legislator, with suspicions of corruption about the state Capitol, Garcia introduced an ethics and transparency package of bills, the "Political Conduct, Ethics and Public Trust Acts of 2014"[citation needed]. Governor Jerry Brown signed five of her reform measures into law:

  • AB 1673 - Eliminating Influence Peddling: prevent lobbyists from hosting political fundraisers at their homes and offices.
  • AB 1666 - Penalties & Bribes: would double the existing restitution fines amounts and prohibit the use of campaign funds to pay a restitution fine under this section.
  • AB 1692 - Personal Use of Campaign Funds: to prevent campaign funds from being used to pay for fines that are the result of abuse of personal use of campaign funds laws.
  • AB 1596 - Vote by Mail: require all vote-by-mail applications, when completed, to be mailed directly to the county registrar’s office and not to middlemen or political campaign organizations.
  • AB 1596 was Assemblymember Garcia’s “There Ought to be a Law” contest winner in 2014.
  • AB 2040 - Detailed Disclosure of Government Compensation: requires salary details to be publicly disclosed on the local government websites.

Garcia also advocates on issues concerning Women and Children.

Garcia launched her Young Legislator’s program in 2014 to mentor high school students in her district to become legislators. Members are given hands-on experience, working within their communities, as they participate in events hosted by Garcia’s district office. Young Legislators who complete the program travel to the State Capitol in Sacramento, where they participate in bill development, mock committee hearings and a floor session in the State Assembly chambers.

A mathematics teacher for thirteen years prior to joining the Assembly, Garcia taught statistics at the University of Southern California, mathematics at Los Angeles City Community College and taught middle school and high school mathematics through the Jaime Escalante Program at East Los Angeles Community College and at Huntington Park High School.

She introduced AB 256, on Cyber-Bullying, which became law in 2013, giving educators the authority to discipline students who engage in cyber bullying on or off campus.

Garcia lives in the Southeast Los Angeles community of Bell Gardens, where she was raised and attended public schools. She went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Pomona College, a master's degree and a Secondary teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University and was accepted as a doctoral candidate at USC.

Cristina has been recognized by California Forward with the distinguished California Forward Thinkers Award, previously earned the Distinguished Woman of the Year Award from the California State Assembly. In 2013 the Latino Journal & CAFÉ de California, presented the Spirit of Latina Award to Assemblymember Garcia for her "exemplary work to strengthen California’s Democracy and advance the representation of Latinas in Public Service."[citation needed]

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