Grace Flores Napolitano
House, California , District #38
11627 East Telegraph Road, Suite 100
Santa Fe Springs, California 90670
Home Town: Brownsville, TX
Committees: Resources, International Relations
Grace Flores Napolitano was first elected to Congress in 1998. She is currently serving her fourth term representing California's 38th District. Her Los Angeles County-based district covers several cities and communities in the Southeast and San Gabriel Valley areas including Norwalk, Pomona, Santa Fe Springs, the City of Industry, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Avocado Heights, La Puente, Hacienda Heights, West Puente Valley and parts of East Los Angeles, Whittier, Rowland Heights, South San Gabriel, Valinda, and other unincorporated areas.
Committees and Caucuses
Napolitano is the Ranking Member of the Water and Power Subcommittee.Â She is an avid promoter of conservation, water recycling, desalination, and sound groundwater management and storage to address Southern California's need for adequate water quality and supply. She is proud of her legislative efforts on a number of fronts: implementation of CALFED, a water management plan for the State of California, protection of the fragile ecosystem in the Bay-Delta and promotion of the use of advanced technologies. Her legislative effort to begin removal of a huge uranium tailings pile at the banks of the Colorado in Moab, stands out as a major accomplishment. This pile has posed a danger to the health of more than 25 million people living in Southern California and six other states who rely on the Colorado River for drinking water.
International Relations Committee:
Serving her third term on the International Relations Committee, Napolitano is committed to forging stronger relationships with other nations and reducing the threats posed by terrorists. While she sees two-way trade as mutually beneficial, she also recognizes that trade is an important tool for fostering democracy, raising living standards and reducing global instability and military conflicts.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC):
The Congresswoman is proud to serve as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. As Chair, Napolitano will work over the course of the next two years with the task force chairs who direct the legislative, policy, and political direction of the CHC. She expressed her desire to coordinate efforts with the Congressional Asian Pacific American and Congressional Black Caucuses to ensure sharing of priorities.
Congressional Mental Health Caucus:
At the beginning of the 108th Congress, Napolitano founded the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, which she now co-chairs with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). The caucus included more than 70 members from both parties during the 108th Congress. As co-chair, Napolitano has hosted a congressional briefing on veteran's mental health needs and is working on proposals to improve mental health services that the VA gives to veterans. A key priority is legislation to provide mental health parity in health insurance. The Congresswoman is also working to address the mental health needs of adolescents, children, minorities and seniors.
In the District
The Congresswoman is committed "constituent service" and to the economic revitalization of her district. She is working aggressively with federal, state and local officials to bring in new businesses, higher wage jobs and training funds to the district. She counts as one of her successes for her district a $2.8 million Labor Department grant for precision and computer numeric control (cnc) machinists and $4 million to spur reuse and redevelopment of the Northrop Grumman B-2 facility in Pico Rivera.
Napolitano has also taken a leading role in suicide prevention among Latina adolescents noting that nearly one-out-of-three has seriously considered suicide - the highest rate for any ethnic or racial group in the country. In 2001 she won a major victory when funds were included in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill to support school-based, mental health services in her district. To date, $1.6 million has been secured for this program now operating in 4 local schools.
Manufacturing Task Force:
A firm believer that manufacturing "matters," the Congresswoman has initiated a Manufacturing Task Force in the 38th district comprised of various small and mid-sized companies. The task force meets to examine key issues and work on strategies that will foster more manufacturing jobs and create a positive climate for manufacturing retention and growth.
Health Task Force:
Napolitano established a 38th district Health Task Force composed of health providers, educators and experts throughout the local area. The Task Force helps keep the Congresswoman apprised of key health issues facing her constituents and works with the Congresswoman to devise programs and projects to improve health care and health outcomes for the local area. Currently the Congresswoman and the Task Force are pursuing funding options for a proposal to train more nursing professionals at both the entry level (CNAs and LVNs) and RNs with advanced degrees.
The Congresswoman was born and raised in the border community of Brownsville, Texas. After high school, she married and moved with her husband to California where they raised 5 children. Always a working mother, Napolitano made her way up through the ranks of Ford Motor Company. After retirement, she focused full-time on civic pursuits in her adopted hometown of Norwalk where she has resided for more than 40 years.
Napolitano began her political career as a member of the Norwalk City Council, winning her first election in 1986 by a mere 28 votes. Four years later she won re-election by the highest margin of votes recorded in city history. In 1989, Napolitano was elevated by her council colleagues to serve as Mayor. During her council tenure, she focused much of her attention on providing access to constituents and on redevelopment and transportation issues to address the city's need for jobs and a more diversified economic base.
Following her 1992 election to the California Assembly, Napolitano emerged as a recognized leader on international trade, environmental protection, transportation and immigration. She quickly earned a reputation as a hard worker and champion for small business, women, economic expansion and job creation. In 1996 she requested and received the creation of the first new standing committee in nine years, the committee on International Trade, which she chaired. In her six years in the Assembly, she also served as chair of the Women's Caucus and vice-chair of the Latino caucus.
Grace is married to Frank Napolitano, retired restaurateur and community activist. They reside in Norwalk, California and take great pride in their five grown children, fourteen grandchildren and one great grandson.