I am a little behind this week in writing the Latino legislator of the week blog post, but better late than never… this week’s featured legislator is California State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero. Gloria Romero represents the 24th state senate district, which covers East Los Angeles into the San Gabriel Valley, an diverse area with a mix of different industries spanning manufacturing to health care. Senator Romero is arguably one of the most educated Latina leaders in the Latino political realm, as she holds a Ph.D. in psychology from U.C. Riverside and has taught in all levels of the state’s university system.
Government accountability and giving California’s residents an opportunity to access public documents from local government boards and the ability examine what happens in our courts are two important issues that Gloria Romero has decided to tackle. To better hold our elected leaders and judges accountable, we need to have more transparency in our courts and governing boards. Earlier this month, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1732 by Senator Romero into law, which closed loopholes in the Brown Act by giving members of local government boards better access to public documents. SB 1732 also makes sure that local governments hold meetings out in the open so the public can attend and impact the decision making. In regards to open courts, Senator Romero is calling for the Judicial Council of California to adopt new rules protecting public access to courtrooms.
The action in regards to open courts was prompted by an incident in the Yolo County courts, where court deputies locked a courtroom when a defendant charged with murder was being arraigned. In addressing the California Rules of the Court, Romero stated, “The recent incident in Yolo County is a shocking reminder of how easily these constitutional rights can be violated. Open, public courts are a cornerstone of our justice system.”
Thank you Senator Romero for making our government more transparent in the Golden State!
Photo Credit: California State Assembly Latino Caucus