Democrat Gloria Molina, a pioneer for Latinas in California and Los Angeles politics, died Sunday night at age 74 after a years-long battle with cancer, her daughter, Valentina Martinez, said in a statement.
He said Molina, of Mexican descent, died surrounded by family at his Los Angeles home.
“He faced this battle with the same courage and resilience with which he lived his life,” the statement said.
“We are very proud that Gloria will be remembered in history for her impact on Los Angeles, the state and the country as a Chicana activist, state assembly member, Los Angeles City Councilmember, and Los Angeles County Supervisor.”
Molina is a benchmark among Latinas, as she was the first from that community elected to the California Assembly in 1982, and also served in the White House during the Jimmy Carter administration (1977–81) as an assistant to the president.
In 1987 she was the first Hispanic to reach the Los Angeles Council, and in 1991 she repeated the feat by winning a spot on the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, where she was until 2014, when a regulation was approved that allowed supervisors to serve more than three years. serve the terms.
In her political career, Molina often faced more established, male candidates for positions that women were never able to win, inspiring many Latinas to follow in her footsteps.
He only lost one race in March 2015 when he decided to return to the political arena for a seat on the Los Angeles Council against then-Councilman Jose Huizer.
“We have lost a great defender of social justice,” said Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the country’s oldest Hispanic organization.
He highlighted that Molina fought many battles for labor equity and equality for Latinos and was “tireless in policies for housing, health services, investment in Hispanic neighborhoods, and political representation for this community.
The eldest of ten children and the daughter of Mexican parents, Gloria Molina was born in Pico Rivera and her commitment to public service began at a very young age.
Domingo says, “Gloria was known for her steely temper, her incisive questions, and her oratory.”
Earlier this year, in recognition of his leadership and influence, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors renamed Grand Park, a public space in the heart of Los Angeles that Hispanics fought to create. It is now Gloria Molina Grand Park.