Latino Community Leaders Urge Gov. Newsom to Appoint Latino to Fill Soon Vacant U.S. Senate Seat

SACRAMENTO- A coalition of Latino elected officials, community leaders and organizations are calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint a Latina or Latino to the U.S. Senate seat for California that will be vacated by Sen. Kamala Harris in January 2021.

The vacancy was created when Joe Biden and Harris, his running mate, won the presidential election held Nov.3

Since California became the 31st state in 1850, there has never been a Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate. With Latinos now comprising nearly 40 percent of the state population and growing, Latino leaders say now is the time for Governor Newsom to act in appointing a Latino. Dozens of Latino leaders will gather at news conferences in Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose, and they say there is no shortage of highly qualified candidates for Newsom to choose from.

Some of the names being tossed out are Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Newsom confidant many see as a leading contender. Padilla is the son of Mexican immigrants,  Another contender is Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Hispanic and a former congressman.

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution empowers state governors to make appointments to fill their states vacancies in the U.S. Senate. Governor have made such appointments 201 times throughout U.S. history, including five times in California with John Seymour in 1991, Pierre Salinger in 1964, Thomas Kuchel in 1953, William Knowland in 1945 and Thomas Storke in 1938.

News conferences are being organized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Latino Caucus of California Counties, League of California Cities Latino Caucus, Chicano Latino Caucus of the California Democratic Party, California Latino School Boards Association, NALEO, Unidos US, California LULAC, Latino Community Foundation, Mi Familia Vota, Communities for New California, SIREN, CHIRLA, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), United Latinos Sacramento, Central Valley Latino Roundtable, Latino Equity Council (San Diego), Latino Leadership Alliance, Central Valley LEAP Institute and Central Coast Citizenship Project VOTA, along with Latino elected officials and individual community leaders.


SACRAMENTO: 11 a.m. Monday Nov. 16 at Cesar Chavez Plaza, across City Hall,   910 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

  • Assemblymember Robert Rivas, Vice-Chair of the CA Latino Legislative Caucus
  • Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman
  • Assemblyember Lorena Gonzalez
  • Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna
  • Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra (SPANISH)
  • Jaqueline Martinez Garcel, California Latino Community Foundation Executive Director
  • Jorge Pacheco, President of Latino School Boards Assn
  • Vanessa Cajina, HOPE Board Member (TENTATIVE)
  • Jose Carmona, Unidos US representative
  • Norma Alcala, Chicano Latino Caucus of CA Dem Party representative


FRESNO: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Fresno City Hall, Front Side, 2600 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93721

  • Esmeralda Soria & Miguel Arias, Fresno Councilmembers & League of CA Cities Latino Caucus
  • Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, Latino Legislative Caucus
  • Luis Alejo, Monterey County Supervisor, Latino Caucus of Counties & rep from Central Coast
  • Marisela Gutierrez, SIREN Executive Director (SPANISH)
  • Samuel Molina, Mi Familia Vota CA State Director
  • Erica Cabrera, HOPE Board Member
  • Pablo Rodriguez, Communities for a New California Executive Director
  • Rey Leon, Huron Mayor and Central Valley LEAP Institute Executive Director
  • Adriana Saldivar, CA Latino Community Foundation Executive Director

SAN DIEGO: 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Cesar Chavez Park, San Diego Bay, Cesar E. Chavez Parkway, San Diego, CA 92101

  • Congressman Juan Vargas
  • Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez
  • Former San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez & Latino Equity Council Director
  • Others: Speakers being organized by former San Diego Councilman Alvarez

LOS ANGELES: 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20 LA City Hall, West Steps, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

  • CA Latino Legislative Caucus Chair Maria Elena Durazo
  • Assemblymember Miguel Santiago
  • Los Angeles Councilmember & Council President Nury Martinez (TENTATIVE)
  • Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, VP of Latino Caucus of CA Counties
  • Angelica Salas, CHIRLA Executive Director (SPANISH)
  • Arturo Vargas, NALEO Executive Director
  • Jose Barrera, California LULAC Deputy Director
  • Rosie Arroyo, HOPE Board Chair

SAN JOSE: 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23 at Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95116

  • SJ City Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco
  • Others: Speakers being organized by Councilmember Carrasco

Image Sources

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom: Shutterstock