Congresswoman Norma Torres represents California’s 35th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Bloomington, Chino, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, and Rialto. 


Norma worked for 17 years as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD, and it was through her efforts to address the lack of Spanish-speaking dispatchers that she first became involved in politics.  While still continuing her duties as a dispatcher, Norma went on to run for and serve on the Pomona City Council and then as Mayor of Pomona.  From there, she served in the State Assembly and the State Senate. During her time in the California legislature, Norma led efforts to provide financial assistance to millions of California families hurt by the recession and worked to make the Affordable Care Act work for California consumers by increasing access to Covered California and improving the quality of care in underserved areas. She also wrote bills to modernize our 911 system, to raise fines on criminals who tamper with online data, and to make it easier for prosecutors to convict corrupt public officials.

Since coming to Congress, Norma has continued to work toward growing the local economy, protecting public safety, and preserving our natural resources.  After a comprehensive job creation listening tour of her district, Norma introduced the Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Act to expand funding for public infrastructure projects and the JOBS Act, a bill to expand job training opportunities for displaced workers.  Through her position on the Homeland Security Committee, Norma has introduced and advocated for legislation that will make our communities safer, which is her top priority. 

Norma immigrated to the United States from Guatemala at the age of 5 and is a longtime resident of Pomona where she resides with her husband Louis, their three sons, and grandson.


HISTORY:

 
 
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911 Dispatcher

1990-2008

 

Norma started her career as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD, serving the community for 17 years. She often worked the graveyard shift, sitting four floors below ground, taking calls every day from people from all walks of life, often in their most vulnerable moments. After a particularly tragic 911 call, Norma worked with the Los Angeles City Council to improve the quality of services provided to non-English speakers. As a result, Norma led the successful fight to hire more bilingual operators and to ensure that bilingual operators were on call for every work shift.

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City Council Member

2000-2006

 

While working at the 911 dispatch center, Norma was an active member of AFSCME which challenged its members to become more involved and run for local office. She rose to the challenge, and unseated a long-time incumbent for City Council in Pomona who had long stopped being responsive to the needs of the community. As a City Councilmember, Norma led many initiatives to improve the quality of life in Pomona and combat crime, including the Neighbors for Pomona Committee, which was dedicated to reducing crime and graffiti in the community.

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Mayor of Pomona

2006-2008

 

Norma was sworn in as the first Latina Mayor of Pomona in February 2006 after winning an 11 way primary for the seat. As the Mayor of Pomona, Norma continued to fight to keep Pomona safe by imposing gang injunctions limiting gang member activities which substantially reduced the severity of Pomona’s gang violence problem. In 2008, she was selected to serve as the Treasurer of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

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The Order of the Great Congress of Guatemala

2008

 

Norma was born in Guatemala, but moved to the United States at the age of 5 because of instability in the country. Norma has been an honored guest in Guatemala, where she toured the country, met with Heads-of-State, and received the country’s highest honor—the Order of the Great Congress of Guatemala, in the rank of Knight.

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Member of the California State Assembly

2008-2012

 

Serving as the Assemblywoman representing California's 61st district, Norma served as the Chair of the Committee on Housing and Community Development at a time when the recession and housing crisis had left thousands of families struggling financially. In response to the crisis, she successfully led an effort to secure $2 billion in federal funds for the “Keep Your Home California” program. Norma also helped pass the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights to protect consumers from foreclosure and worked to make it easier for returning veterans to purchase homes.

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Member of the California State Senate

2013-2014

 

After winning a hard fought special election for the California State Senate, Norma represented California's 32nd District where she fought to create jobs in the Inland Empire at a time when families were still recovering from the recession. She advocated for job training programs, access to higher education, and other tools to improve the skills people need to get better paying jobs. She also strongly advocated for services and programs to help families transition out of the recession, keep their homes and ensure quality education is available for our children. 

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Member of Congress

2015 - Present

 

As the Congresswoman representing California's 35th district, Norma has been an advocate for the working families of the Inland Empire. Norma is a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where her top priority is to keep our families and communities safe from threats. She has also introduced legislation to spur investment in our infrastructure and direct resources to training facilities for local law enforcement agencies. Norma has also been a strong supporter of achieving local control for the Ontario Airport.

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Visit to Guatemala with Joe Biden

January 2016

 

In January 2016, Norma was invited by Vice President Biden to represent Congress and join him at the swearing in of the new President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales. Prior to the swearing-in, Norma founded the bipartisan Congressional Central America Caucus which focuses on the root causes of instability in Central America and in particular, the Northern Triangle countries, supporting a strategy of governance, security, and prosperity in the region.

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