Progressive Champion, Senator Announces Statewide Bid; Vows to be California's "Defender" Against Trump and Washington's Efforts to Repeal ACA as California's Next Insurance Watchdog
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Today State Senator Ricardo Lara, who recently co-introduced Californians for a Healthy California Act (SB 562), which amounts to single-payer healthcare for the state, announced that he will be running to serve as California's State Insurance Commissioner - a statewide elected office dedicated to protecting consumers, enforcing all insurance regulations, and safeguarding Californians' economic and health security.
Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the "Point man in the push for immigrant rights," Senator Lara, who also previously served as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and currently serves as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus, announced his candidacy by releasing the following statement:
"Our nation is in full blown crisis mode right now. We have a man in the White House with no popular mandate, who is methodically working to strip Americans of their healthcare, their economic security and their civil liberties.
"I'm running to be California's next State Insurance Commissioner because I believe at my core that California needs a strong defender, and a counterpuncher, who will stand up to fight our bullying President, Donald Trump, and his increasingly reckless federal government on issues from healthcare access to economic security and more. If millions of Californians begin losing their health insurance because of actions taken by Donald Trump, I will be there to fight him tooth and nail at every pass.
"As California's Insurance Commissioner, I'll work tirelessly to represent the great people of California, not the corporations, the billionaire class, the pharmaceutical or the insurance companies. I plan to work with anybody who is willing to come to the table, but my allegiance will always be first and foremost to the consumers, the patients, our working families, and our most vulnerable communities in our Golden State."
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.
In 2016, Senator Lara 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.
Senator Lara was born and raised in East Los Angeles and attended schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He graduated from San Diego State University with a double major in Journalism and Spanish. He worked as a legislative staffer for years, including working for State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and for then-Assemblymember and now State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Léon. In 2010, Senator Lara was elected to the California State Assembly, and in 2012, he was elected to the California State Senate, where he made history as the first openly gay person of color in the State Senate.
His 33rd Senate District is expansive, encompassing nearly one million people, roughly 70% of which is Latino. The district is located in the heart of the South Bay and stretches from Long Beach to Lynwood, and from Huntington Park to Lakewood and Los Angeles.
Significantly, if elected, Senator Lara would be the first openly gay statewide elected official in California. Today, 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.
Paid for by Ricardo Lara for Insurance Commissioner 2018