Originally from Michoacàn, Mexico, Assemblywoman Patty Lòpez came to the U.S. at 12 and grew up in Pacoima. While raising her own family, she started studying at the North Valley Occupational Center. As a mother of four, she knew educating herself was the best way to provide a better future for her daughters. She took basic ESL and high school classes, GED preparation, vocational and college courses.
Patty became active in a local parent group that worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District to help failing schools. She gradually expanded her political and community organizing roles, and was especially concerned by the elimination of adult education funding at the height of the state's financial crisis.
The desire to help her community led to a decision to run for the State Assembly in 2014. In a surprising upset, she won the election and took office as a political novice. She has since introduced legislation in key areas of concern to her and her constituents. Many of her bills have been signed by the Governor.
During her past tenure as Assembly member Mrs. López attained numerous achievements including authoring legislation to assist California’s most vulnerable communities, keeping families together, creating greater access for students towards colleges and universities, allowing an income tax exemption for our veterans, and limiting the influence of special interest groups over law makers in Sacramento. Her legislation legacy has included the Right to Dry bill, which prohibits apartment complexes and multiple family residential dwellings from banning individuals who wish to dry their clothing on a clothes line. She also authored legislation to require an independent film maker to sit as a board member on California's Filming Commission. She notably authored a bill to make prosecutorial misconduct a felony offense for which she received multiple awards.
In 2016, she was honored by the National Women's Political Caucus as the recipient of their annual Leadership award. She was also given the annual Green Leadership Award in 2016. Patty López earned a perfect score from the Courage Campaign in their review of her 2015 voting record. She also has led activist rallies in her community in defense of the rights of immigrants and the rights of transgender individuals.
Additionally, she was a strong proponent of the minimum wage increase to $15 an hour in California, reflecting on the Assembly floor about her own experience as a minimum wage earner. Patty additionally is fighting hard to rebuild the adult education system in California. In 2016, she introduced a bill to restore funding to pre-recession levels.
Patty overcame difficulties in her life by educating herself and taking the time to learn something new each day. Having access to adult education programs helped her achieve her goals and it is one of the reasons she wants to ensure that other adults have that same opportunity.
Locally, she has hosted dozens of free workshops on housing, education, small businesses, immigration and other issues. She has been a champion for the people in countless ways.
Whether from within the legislature or elsewhere, Patty's plan is to continue working hard to improve our communities, and she is deeply committed to helping people understand our system of government.