Anna M. Caballero was elected in November 2016 to the California State Assembly to represent the 30th Assembly District, which includes the Salinas Valley and Big Sur, San Benito County, Watsonville, Gilroy, and Morgan Hill.
Anna has a 30 year legacy of public service in her community. She received her undergraduate degree from UC San Diego, and her law degree from UCLA. After graduating law school she moved to Salinas to provide legal services to farmworkers. Along with her partners, Anna made the commitment to open an office in Salinas and Hollister to provide legal services to working families at a reasonable price. She also started a non-profit called “Partners in Peace” to develop strategies to reduce youth and gang violence. At the request of her housing association she ran for Salinas City Council and served for seven years; where she focused on affordable housing, strengthening the business and commercial opportunities for growth, the redevelopment of downtown, and providing more parks and recreational space for kids and families. She became the first female Mayor of Salinas in 1998, and as Mayor she raised over $80,000 in private funds to fund city libraries, and she put a measure on the ballot to raise money for essential services during a state budget crisis.
Anna was first elected to the State Assembly in 2006, where she continued to focus on meeting the needs of local residents. She made it easier for farmers to utilize their land to build farmworker housing, gave local governments more time to commit redevelopment dollars to rehabilitate affordable housing units in their communities, and created a parks grant incentive for park poor communities who build affordable housing. She facilitated the transfer of state land to a local community to assist in the expansion of the waste water treatment facility, and facilitated in obtaining funds for a water agency to assist in upgrades and much needed technology. She was also able to access much needed gang intervention funds to help reduce gang violence in the region, creating a partnership with the Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice. An advocate for education, she also voted to extend state student aid to undocumented students applying for citizenship. She showed solidarity with other government workers whose salary was cut due to the budget, by taking a 10% pay-cut in her Assembly salary.
From 2010 to 2016, Anna joined Governor Edmund G. Brown’s cabinet as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Under her leadership, 65 million dollars were allocated to build housing and provide services for homeless veterans, provide struggling families access to home refinancing assistance, and establish new funding criteria for affordable housing and sustainable communities. New funding criteria for affordable housing also included rural communities, an effort that aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. As Secretary she oversaw the largest civil rights department in the country, the protection of consumer rights through the licensing of over 3 million individuals and businesses in California, and the development and maintenance of affordable housing statewide. During her time working with Governor Brown, Anna was the highest-ranking Latina in state government.
Anna’s leadership has inspired generations of young leaders to work hard, and help build a strong community for the future. She has been a tireless advocate for families, farmers, veterans, workers, the disabled, seniors, and teachers. She is honored to continue this work in the state Assembly.