She could be the first Filipina elected to California’s Legislature

She could be the first Filipina elected to California’s LegislatureShe could be the first Filipina elected to California’s Legislature
via Jessica Caloza
Carl Samson
March 4, 2024
Jessica Caloza, a proud immigrant and women’s rights advocate, could make history later this year as the first Filipino woman elected to the California Legislature.
What she’s running for: Caloza is seeking to succeed Wendy Carrillo to represent District 52 in the State Assembly. The district covers the southern part of Glendale, several Los Angeles neighborhoods — Highland Park, East Hollywood and El Sereno, to name a few — and unincorporated East Los Angeles.
Her background: Born in Quezon City, Philippines, to working-class parents, Caloza immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 4. She is the lone Asian American in a pool of 10 candidates in Tuesday’s primary.

Caloza attended public schools throughout her education. She double-majored in ethnic studies and political science with a focus in international relations at the University of California, San Diego, becoming the first in the family to graduate from college in the country.
As a public servant, Caloza has worked at the federal, state and local levels. She served as an education policy advisor in the Obama administration, helping underfunded schools get more resources. In 2019, she made history as the first Filipino woman to become a commissioner on the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, working to expand union jobs, raise wages and require equal pay for women.
Most recently, Caloza served as deputy chief of staff to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who also made history in 2012 by becoming the first Filipino elected to the State Assembly (District 18). In this role, she helped reduce crime and gun violence, protect the environment and bring sexual assault victims to justice.
Her platform: Aside from women’s rights, Caloza’s campaign has set eyes on working families being able to provide for themselves through jobs with living wages, because “I want all families to have the same opportunity my family did.”
“The challenges facing hard working families and neighborhoods across our district are many but I’m ready to fight for change,” Caloza states in her campaign website. “People throughout the 52nd District need and deserve a representative in the State Assembly who will bring compassion, proven leadership, inclusiveness, and a forward-thinking vision to get things done.”
If elected to Sacramento, Caloza vows to work to lower costs for working families, protect funding for Planned Parenthood and critical health services, protect renters and build affordable housing, provide solutions to homelessness, invest in public schools and hold polluters accountable and fight for more clean energy investments. She also plans to continue creating good-paying union jobs and fighting for “common-sense” gun restrictions to put an end to gun violence.
Whom she’s up against: Caloza is running against Franky Carrillo (no relation to Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo), Genesis Coronado, Anthony Fanara, David Girón, Carlos J. León, Sofía Quiñones, Shannel Pittman, Ari Ruiz and Stephen Sills. The two candidates with the most votes on Tuesday will advance to the general election in November.
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