Assemblywoman Norma Torres, 61st District

Biography

Assemblymember Norma Torres is serving her second term in the State Assembly and it is because of her leadership skills that she has been selected as the chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.

Assemblymember Torres is also the chair of the Select Committee on 911 Services. Torres has come in contact with thousands of residents – real people like you and me. It has been residents like you that helped her develop and shape her legislative priorities. These priorities include solving the structural budget problem, protecting the public’s safety, helping to stop foreclosures and stabilizing our housing market to bring our economy back.

For more than 18 years, Torres worked as a bilingual 911 dispatcher and was an instructor for the Los Angeles Police Department. Norma’s life changed when a Spanish speaker called with an emergency and the person answering the phone couldn’t understand her. By the time the call was transferred to Norma, all she heard on the other end of the phone was the sound of five gunshots hitting and killing a young girl.

This experience inspired Torres, who successfully led the fight to require the hiring of bilingual operators at the 911 center. With the help of co-workers, Torres organized a grassroots coalition that resulted in the hiring of bilingual operators for every work shift. Norma made protecting communities the focal point of her work. Because of her dedication, her commitment to public service and with her community’s help, she was elected to the Pomona City Council and went on to serve as Mayor of the City of Pomona.

Making Pomona a better place has been Norma’s lifelong goal. Fighting to keep Pomona safe for families, Torres passed the state’s first ordinance regulating where convicted sex offenders were allowed to live. The ordinance prevented sex offenders from living near Pomona’s schools and businesses or together in large group homes.

Ending the cycle of gang violence continues to be a top priority for Assemblymember Torres. She brings a long record of fighting crime on behalf of working families. As mayor, she imposed gang injunctions limiting gang activities and worked with the community to break the code of silence in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

There is much work to do in order to help the economy recover; to protect the public’s safety and to restore this great state. It is issues like these that brought Norma Torres to the State Assembly. Torres was elected in November of 2008 and represents the 61st District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario and Pomona.

As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development, Torres has authored legislation to accelerate building affordable housing and putting unemployed construction workers back to work. She has authored legislation dealing with improving housing options for veterans; adjusting the rules for common interest developments and homeowner associations; and improving conditions in mobilehome parks. In the 2011-2012 legislative sessions, she will continue her work as Chair to identify new opportunities to leverage our state’s limited resources to reduce homelessness, create a permanent source of funding for the construction of affordable housing and will analyze the benefits and negatives of redevelopment. Assemblymember Torres is also a member of the following committees: Aging and Long-Term Care, Banking and Finance, Governmental Organization, Insurance, and Inland Empire Transportation Issues.

She believes in solving our budget problems, stabilizing the housing market by bringing jobs back to our communities and the construction industry. She also believes in protecting public safety by introducing tougher laws against sex offenders and by providing 911 dispatchers with the necessary tools so that they can give callers the best service possible. Assemblymember Torres lives in Pomona with her husband Louis and their sons Robert and Matthew. Her son Christopher is currently serving on active duty in the United States Air Force.

Official Website