Rep. Grace Flores Napolitano (D–Calif.)
Congresswoman Grace Flores Napolitano is a proven fighter for the people of California’s 32nd Congressional District. She is fiercely protective of the communities and industries she represents, prioritizing water, labor rights, immigration, and veteran’s services.
Congresswoman Napolitano understands the needs of her district and has the seniority to actually make impactful legislation happen. She is a powerful leader for Southern California on questions of water resources and power generation, and dedicates considerable energy to promoting mental health services and awareness.
In the 114th Congress, Congresswoman Napolitano was unanimously elected to serve as Ranking Member on the Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. She introduced the Water in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 291) with a coalition of 31 other lawmakers in the House and the support of Senator Barbara Boxer, who introduced the same legislation in the Senate.
As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Congresswoman Napolitano is a dedicated advocate for the Hispanic community. She chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and wrote several pieces of comprehensive immigration reform legislation then worked with party leaders to gain support for the proposals on both sides of the aisle.
Congresswoman Napolitano has a passion for mental health issues that stems from her work on the Norwalk City Council in the 1980s, when hospitals in her area began closing and sending mentally ill patients onto the streets. She co-chairs the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and has worked to help Iraq War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. From her committee seats she pushed BP officials to take the post-trauma mental health of Gulf Coast residents into consideration when settling claims related to the spring 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
After the January 2011 shooting in Tucson of Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Napolitano co-hosted a briefing for congressional staff on the resources available to them if they believed a constituent to be mentally ill. “I want to make sure some of our employees — those that are interested — are able to at least benefit from some kind of information that almost everybody else in law enforcement knows about,” she told The Hill.
Congresswoman Napolitano also serves as a Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, where she acts as a watchdog for mental health issues in gun reform legislation.
America’s veterans are returning home to an unstable job market and disastrous lines at the V.A. Congresswoman Napolitano is dedicated to doing better by the soldiers and families who have sacrificed so much for this country. She is in continual talks with the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN), who are the senior management that oversee southern CA and Nevada hospitals and clinics. The Congresswoman inquires on issues related to efficiency and transparency as it relates to services rendered to our veterans.
She also maintains a Veteran Committee, where 30 plus veteran groups meet to discuss all veterans’ issues, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and traumatic brain injuries (PTSD/TBI), vet placement, homelessness, women veterans and families.
Congresswoman Napolitano is a known consensus builder. Recently, she was instrumental in the passage of the FAST Act, which authorized about $305 billion for much-needed highway, transit, and safety-related programs. She secured $26 million for California to repair crumbling infrastructure and build new solutions for traffic congestion.
Grace Flores Napolitano married at 18 and had five children by 23. She caught the political bug as a volunteer in Norwalk’s efforts to cultivate a sister-city relationship with Hermosillo, Mexico. She says she joined the effort to show her children and “other youngsters on this side how lucky they were.”
She launched her first political campaign, for city council where she served six years, two of them as mayor, before moving up to the California Legislature for six years.
Congresswoman Napolitano has diligently served Southern California for nine terms. She understands the importance of being connected to her district, coming home every weekend to spend time with her family and serve up her famous tacos and guacamole to anyone lucky enough to pass through her kitchen.