A Q&A With Senator Ricardo Lara

Apr. 13, 2013 / By

What many don’t know about Senator Ricardo Lara was that his first love was journalism.

“I had the best journalism teacher in the 8th grade,” said Lara, who is a native of Commerce, CA.

Lara then went on to earn his bachelors in Journalism, Spanish and Chicano Studies from San Diego State University, where he was also student body president. It was also his time in San Diego where he decided to dedicate his life to public service.

“I got the bug, the political bug, and from then I feel in love with the job,” Lara recalls. Since then he has been on this journey of fighting for those who haven’t always had a voice in the legislative process.

The son of a factory worker and a seamstress in East L.A., Lara wasn’t necessarily a likely candidate for the California State Senate, but his work as a longtime Assembly staffer has allowed him to support policies that advocate for education equity and immigrants’ rights.

Lara currently represents District 33, and is the first openly gay person of color in the state Senate.

Lara’s jurisdiction includes several communities in Southern California, including much of the city of Long Beach.

“Long Beach is vital to the economy of our state,” Lara said. “Long Beach represents hope.”

In the video above, Lara shares with VoiceWaves his vision for Long Beach and the main issues he would like to address in the city.

Want to learn more about Lara’s history? Watch the video below to hear him talk about his journey to the Senate and his hopes on future.

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Alyson Bryant

Alyson Bryant was raised in Long Beach and is a graduate of Long Beach Poly High. Alyson has learned and seen a lot since high school, witnessing first-hand gang violence and the effects it had on her friends and fellow classmates– from going to jail to being killed. As a result, she has a strong passion for at-risk youth and her community. She is a youth mentor for at the California Conference for Equality and Justice and focuses her work on Long Beach youth in schools and detention centers. Since high school, she has obtained a A.S. degree in criminal justice and is now working on her B.A. With the opportunity she has be given by VoiceWaves, she is able to tell story about Long Beach and the issues it faces and speak for the communities whose voices are often marginalized.