Cristina Garcia is often referred to as a “Force of Nature,” first as a dynamic community organizer and civic activist and now as a new generation of leader in the California State Legislature.
Born and raised in the community of Bell Gardens, Garcia was a middle school, high school and collegiate math and statistics teacher for thirteen years. She got her start as an activist for higher ethical standards in government in 2010 when her city was faced with a massive corruption scandal. She organized a coalition of concerned citizens, formed the Bell Association to Stop Abuse (BASTA), and they successfully ousted the corrupt officials and established accountability and transparency in her local government.
She then ran for the 58th Assembly District in the fall of 2012 on a platform of ethics reform and good governance. She saw the problems in Sacramento and wanted to put the State Legislature back to work for the people of California. When she was elected, she went to Sacramento and did just that.
In the Capitol, she crashed the good old boy’s network and is now leading the way to empower women to take their seat at the table. She insisted on parity in the tax code by introducing a bill to repeal the sales on pads, tampons and other menstrual items and led the charge to update the definition of rape in light of Brock Turner verdict, starting a national dialogue on both issues. As the Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, she made gender equity a priority and has been pivotal in ensuring that the Women’s Caucus plays an important role in budget and policy discussions.
Reflective of the cultural change as a state and the new realities of a diverse population of color, Cristina Garcia embraces her own communities with a message of hope and inclusion.
She demanded accountability in man-made environmental disasters, like the Exide battery plant, and pushes to make all levels of government more transparent and accountable to voters. As the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, Cristina Garcia is fighting to make sure communities like hers aren’t left behind any longer. In 2017, she passed a first-of-its-kind air quality bill to address her district’s unique environmental justice issues and proceeded to tout this environmental achievement at the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
She is on a constant mission to educate, empower and engage, whether that is for constituents of the 58th Assembly District, for women or for disadvantaged communities. She fights for change with a passion to improve the lives of working people and to brighten the path to the future for our next generation. As a vibrant new leader of promise, Cristina Garcia hasn’t forgotten where she came from, but with purpose, she also knows where California should be going.