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Washington, D.C. — Latino Victory Fund sent a letter urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint Secretary Alex Padilla to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The organization launched the ‘Pick Padilla’ initiative to galvanize support for Secretary Padilla in August. The letter sent to Gov. Newsom touts Secretary Padilla’s experience and qualifications and the need for Latino representation in the U.S. Senate and California—the state with the largest Latino population.

The letter was signed by Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund president & CEO.

“We believe that Secretary Padilla is the Latino candidate who exemplifies the best of California leadership. He’s a stalwart leader and fierce advocate who has dedicated his life to public service, creating meaningful change that improved Californians’ lives through effective legislation. A public servant at heart, Secretary Padilla has served the people of California for more than 20 years,  first in the Los Angeles City Council, where he broke barriers by becoming the first Latino elected president of the council, and then as California State Senator.“

The letter continues, “As Secretary of State, he’s worked tirelessly to strengthen voting rights by increasing voter registration and participation. He has been elected twice statewide by overwhelming margins demonstrating that he has the profile and reach across a broad swath of diverse voters throughout the state.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LETTER

Meet Secretary Alex Padilla:

  • The son of Mexican immigrants, Padilla was raised in the working-class community of Pacoima, California. His father worked as a short-order cook, and his mother cleaned houses.

  • Padilla earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

  • At the age of 26, Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, and subsequently, he became the youngest and the first Latino elected president of the city council, a position he held for three terms.

  • In 2006, Padilla was elected to the California State Senate, during which he focused his legislative work on health initiatives, education, climate change, and infrastructure.

  • In 2015, Padilla was sworn in as the first Latino California Secretary of State. Throughout his tenure, he has worked to strengthen voter rights by increasing voter registration and participation.

  • Secretary Padilla is also the chairman of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State. He has led the organization in the fight against the Trump administration’s voter suppression that affects the Latino and Black communities. He’s also leading the DASS to flip State Secretaries of State to a Democratic majority in 2020.