CHIRLA Action Fund

2022 Endorsements


Election Day: Tuesday, June 7, 2022


Christy Smith

Los Angeles County
for California Congressional District 27

A formative experience was her encounter as a peer tutor at College of the Canyons with Gabriel, an immigrant student. In the Newhall School Board, she worked to pass a bond measure to help disadvantaged schools in the district, and as an Assembly member, she led reforms that ensured equitable resources for all schools. Collaborated with CHIRLA, SALVA, and the Dolores Huerta Foundation.


  • Expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare
  • Improving public education and ensuring success for every student
  • Taking on climate change and fighting for environmental justice

Robert Garcia​

Los Angeles County
for California Congressional District 42

Emigrated to the U.S. from Peru with his mother at age 5, which shaped his views on immigration and moved him to understand the real impact of such policies. Long Beach has welcomed Cambodian immigrants and in 2021, at Garcia’s direction, opened its convention center as a shelter for migrant children who crossed the border alone. Residents donated resources and more than 100,000 toys and books.


  • Preparing for future pandemics and emergencies
  • Defend our democracy
  • Real opportunity for everyone, not just the wealthy

Lou Correa

Orange County
for California Congressional District 46

Grandson of immigrants. His grandfather arrived in the United States in the 1930s, and he has family members who have been deported. His district represents the largest population of DACA recipients. A strong ally on immigration reform.


  • Immigration
  • Immigration
  • Immigration


Rob Bonta

for California Attorney General

Born in Quezon City, Philippines, emigrated with his parents to California while just a baby. His parents worked for the United Farm Workers in Los Angeles, later moving to La Paz to work alongside Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. In the Legislature, he fought to protect immigrant families from deceptive ICE tactics, writing the TRUTH Act, a first-of-its-kind bill requiring ICE to inform immigrants of their rights before questioning them.


  • Stop gun violence
  • Protect civil rights
  • Lift victims of crime and stop transnational criminal organizations

Ricardo Lara

for California Insurance Commissioner

His father arrived in 1962 with a quarter in his pocket and became a bracero in Fresno, later a factory worker, raising four children with his wife. Lara grew up in East Los Angeles, where his parents later naturalized. Helped make Health4AllKids, which lets children get MediCal coverage regardless of immigration status, the law of the state.


  • Protect California consumers
  • Hold insurance companies accountable
  • Build CA’s resilience against climate change and wildfires.

Juan Carrillo

Los Angeles County
for California State Assembly District 39

In the Palmdale City Council, Carillo introduced proclamations supporting DACA/TPS that the Council approved unanimously. Pushed and won inclusion of a social justice element in the New General Plan.


  • Immigrant rights
  • Housing
  • Reliable public transportation

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Los Angeles/Orange County
for California State Assembly District 67

Considers immigration a personal issue. As a teacher, she had students who spoke five different languages at home. In the previous campaign, employed a DACA holder who is now a field representative in her office.


  • Use constituent feedback to prioritize issues
  • Focus on solutions, not political scorecards
  • Demand Sacramento treat Orange County fairly

Bulmaro Vicente

Orange County
for California State Assembly District 68

Family are Oaxaqueño immigrants who moved to Santa Ana to fulfill the American Dream. Inspired by the struggles of his parents to put food on the table, and by their long journey to citizenship. He fights for family and friends who deserve citizenship, access to health care, and housing.


  • Affordable housing
  • Criminal justice reform
  • Economic justice


Kevin De Leon

City of Los Angeles
for LA City Mayor

Son of an immigrant single mother who cleaned homes for a living. Helped organize one of the largest protests against the anti-immigrant Proposition 187, and helped bury legislatively in 2014. Championed better pay for farmworkers and ensured local police don’t do the work of ICE agents. In the LA City Council, draws attention to hate crimes against residents of color and street vendors, and champions the LA Justice Fund.


  • Make LA affordable through good-paying jobs with benefits for working families
  • Create emergency and permanent housing for the unhoused
  • Cleaner air and cleaner water and better access to parks, regardless of ZIP code

Gil Cedillo

Los Angeles County
for LA City Council District 1

Grandson of Mexican undocumented immigrants. Grew up in Boyle Heights and attended Roosevelt High School. Graduated from UCLA and later earned a law degree from Peoples College of Law in 1983. He worked with immigrant rights groups to pass AB60, the CA drivers license bill, as well as the California Dream Act.


  • Post-COVID economic recovery, in a world where workplace safety has a whole new meaning.
  • Create affordable housing while ensuring communities preserve their neighborhood character.
  • Clean up LA’s streets and alleyways through the Keep It Clean campaign and promote river restoration and land preservation.

Curren Price, Jr.

City of Los Angeles
for LA City Council District 9

Price has committed more than $1.5 million in discretionary funds to free immigration, DACA and naturalization consultations, community education and outreach by CHIRLA and CARECEN in his district, which is about 80 percent Latino, including immigrants and mixed-status families.


  • Expedite building of interim/permanent housing using $94 million in HHH funds and nearly $104 million in other city funds for more than 3,300 units of affordable housing and more than 3,000 units of market-rate housing, and using every city-owned for these units
  • Expand the District 9 Solid Ground program throughout the city, to keep people in their homes.
  • Bring well-paying jobs to Los Angeles via programs like JEDI Zones, Business Source Centers, small business grant/loan programs, Good Food Zones, and the Legacy Business Program, as well as including local hiring agreements in major projects.

Hugo Soto-Martinez

Los Angeles County
for LA City Council District 13

Son of undocumented immigrants. He was recruited to become a union organizer while in college to become a lawyer. At UNITE HERE Local 11, he soon focused on immigration, working with CHIRLA to develop a national know-your-rights training. Later, he developed a tactical team to respond to workplace audits. He has led actions for TPS holder port truck drivers and campaigns to turn green card holders into voters.


  • Eradicate homelessness by scaling up Project Homekey and requiring 30 percent set-asides for affordable housing in developer projects
  • Fight climate change through retraining employees for clean jobs and cleaning up toxic dumps in low income communities
  • Expand the LA Justice Fund with universal representation for deportation cases

Maria Brenes

City of Los Angeles
for School District (LAUSD) - District 2

Daughter of immigrants and the eldest of four children. Family moved to Tecate after her father suffered an accident, and she experienced the border first-hand, daily, as she crossed to attend school in East San Diego County.


  • Reimagine public education for more justice and equity, especially for highest-need students and students of color.
  • LAUSD policy and budget rooted in racial justice
  • Strengthen neighborhood schools as community hubs for academic achievement and the social safety net

Nicholas Melvoin

City of Los Angeles
for School District (LAUSD) District 4

Comes from a family of immigrants who arrived here with nothing. Public schools allowed their children and grandchildren to fulfill the family’s hope. He wants all families to have those same opportunities. Testified in support of DACA in a lawsuit against the federal government and as board member wants equitable funding that supports English learners and dual language programs.


  • Address systemic inequities that hold back children and families
  • Equitable pandemic recovery, emphasizing academic progress and emotional wellbeing for students most affected
  • More funding for education, specifically increasing per-pupil funding at the state level

Kelly Gonez

City of Los Angeles
for School District (LAUSD) District 6

Kelly Gonez, a child of immigrant parents, is the current President of the LAUSD Board. While at UC Berkeley, she worked three jobs to pay her way through college. In 2014, President Obama appointed her as education policy advisor, leading efforts to support immigrant students, English learners, and unhoused or foster care students. She ran for school board and since 2017 has built strong partnerships with labor, led on progressive causes, and pushed for investments in public schools from all levels of government.


  • Universal access to high quality early education
  • Equity in school policy and education efforts, in part through a student equity index
  • Enhancing career and college readiness in part through apprenticeship programs

Bob Hertzberg

Los Angeles County
for Board of Supervisors District 3

Spent much of his political career supporting measures that help immigrants. Worked with community/labor leaders on dozens of campaigns in immigrant communities. He spent nearly a year working to defeat Prop 187. He served twice as California Assembly speaker and in 2020 led on SB960, which extends consumer protections to undocumented immigrants.


  • A comprehensive county emergency bill to streamline regulations and better target services funding.
  • Reduce liability in latent defects law and revise county rules designating surplus property to speed housing construction.
  • Create an integrated regional housing plan with shared accountability.

Dejonae Shaw

San Bernardino County
for Board of Supervisors District 2

Granddaughter of immigrants. Volunteered for the Inland Empire Labor Council’s Civil Rights Committee and did census outreach in immigrant communities. Her family business hires immigrant workers to help give them a stronger financial footing as they pursue citizenship.


  • More resources to address homelessness, drug addiction and mental illness
  • More work with youth and children so they can take advantage of opportunities
  • A more inclusive San Bernardino County

Connie Leyva

San Bernardino County
for Board of Supervisors District 4

President of UFCW Local 1428 and the California Labor Federation. Fought for workers’ right to unionize regardless of immigration status. In the California Senate, worked to expand immigrant rights, including access to Medi-Cal, requiring government registration from immigration consultants, and cracking down on wage theft violators.


  • Make our neighborhoods safer
  • Create good-paying local jobs
  • Build housing that’s affordable