Portion of Southeast L.A. County Without Representation in Sacramento After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

For Maria Camacho-Rodriguez, a special-education teacher and a trustee of Cerritos Community College, a monthly education roundtable convened by her Assembly member provided crucial insight into legislation, grant opportunities and other important things happening in Sacramento.

This month, she was hoping for an update about the state budget and a chance to pitch a bill on aiding families of children killed by law enforcement. But the meeting was abruptly canceled when her legislator, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), announced she would take an unpaid leave during an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

“It was super disappointing,” Camacho-Rodriguez said. “At the roundtable she puts out information, direct contacts, things coming up for scholarships and internships. For a lot of our youth, that is super important.”

Camacho-Rodriguez and other residents of a swath of southeastern Los Angeles County now find themselves with the unhappy distinction of being without a representative in both the state Senate and Assembly. Their legislators, Garcia and Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), both have gone on leave after facing public allegations of improper conduct.

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