SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) was elected Vice Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus by members of the Caucus, an influential entity in the State Legislature comprised of 29 Assemblymembers and Senators. During his first term in the Assembly, Rivas has quickly emerged as a leader in efforts to protect farmworkers and other vulnerable communities. Raised in farmworker housing, Rivas represents the 30th Assembly District, which includes the agriculture-rich Salinas and Pajaro Valleys on the Central Coast.
“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Latino Legislative Caucus for confidence in my leadership during this unprecedented time in California’s history,” Asm. Rivas said. “The current pandemic and economic recession have absolutely devastated Latino communities across the State. Latinos make up almost 50 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in California, and Latinas in particular have been hit the hardest by the economic recession, with 30 percent losing their jobs during the first few months of the pandemic. The next legislative session will be incredibly important for the Caucus and for the health and wellbeing of the State’s Latino plurality, and I look forward to working with Senator and Chair Durazo on these urgent issues.
“I also wanted to thank the outgoing Chair, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, for her fierce and strong leadership over the past two years. Under her tenure as Chair, the Caucus has amplified its voice in advocating for the Latino community—tackling issues from economic equity to education to environmental justice.”
Assemblymember Rivas, who is currently on a statewide tour of agriculture industries and communities in California, was also recently selected as the Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood).
Over the past year, Asm. Rivas authored the COVID-19 Farmworker Relief Package, which included Assembly Bill 2043—the Agricultural Workplace Health and Safety Act—a Latino Caucus priority bill. Signed by the Governor last month, AB 2043 funds a much needed, bilingual statewide outreach campaign that will educate agricultural workers about how to protect themselves against infection from COVID-19 and what benefits they’re entitled to during the pandemic, and it will also direct Cal/OSHA to track and report agricultural workplace investigations.
Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) represents California’s 30th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels, and Watsonville.