Throughout Senator Ricardo Lara’s career, he’s always stood up for working families and against injustice, even when doing so was difficult or unpopular. Grounded in his East Los Angeles upbringing and raised by a factory worker and a seamstress, Ricardo has built a record on bringing people together around tough challenges and delivering results that improve people’s lives.
As a graduate of LAUSD schools and a lifelong resident of Southeast Los Angeles, he knows first-hand the challenges facing the immigrant and working class communities he represents in the 33rd Senate District.
Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the "Point man in the push for immigrant rights," Senator Lara in 2016 engineered the successful statewide campaign to allow for multi-lingual education in California's schools. He was also one of the key leaders behind a landmark effort to grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants in California. This legislation is more important than ever, now that Donald Trump has instructed border patrol agents that they may deport undocumented immigrants for the "crime" of driving without a license.
As a State Senator, Ricardo Lara has already been a leader on numerous issues that the office of the Insurance Commissioner interacts with. As stated above, he recently co-introduced a single-payer healthcare system for the state, and also spearheaded the groundbreaking law that provided health care for 170,000 immigrant children, and has played a strong, dynamic role in shaping, implementing and expanding Covered California. Senator Lara also recently the co-introduced Californians for a Healthy California Act (SB 562), which would create a single-payer healthcare system for the state.
Beyond his time in public office, Ricardo has dedicated his entire career to public service. From serving as Associated Student Inc. (ASI) Vice President while studying at San Diego State University, to working with the late Assembly Member Marco Antonio Firebaugh on the landmark AB540 legislation that opened the doors for undocumented students to pursue a higher education, his dedication to serving the most vulnerable in the state has not wavered. He later worked as a legislative staffer for years, including working for State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and for now State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Léon before being elected to the Assembly in 2010.
Ricardo’s leadership was quickly recognized by his colleagues in the legislature. In his first term, he was elected chair of the influential California Legislative Latino Caucus and currently serves as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus. Upon his election to the Senate in 2012, Ricardo made history by becoming the first openly gay person of color elected to the California State Senate. He is also an active member of the California LGBT Caucus and a board member of the Equality California Institute.
Significantly, if elected, Senator Lara would be the first openly gay statewide elected official in California. Currently, Senator Lara serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the California State Senate, considered to be perhaps the most influential committee in the California State Senate.