Jennifer Ann “Jenny” Oropeza

Jennifer Ann “Jenny” Oropeza

Montebello, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 20 Oct 2010 (aged 53)
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cypress, Orange County, California, USA
Plot ' Constant Love ' Lot : 2197 * Space: 2
Memorial ID 60683616 · View Source
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Jennifer Ann "Jenny" Oropeza (September 27, 1957 — October 20, 2010) was the California State Senator for the 28th district. Oropeza was elected to her first term in the California State Senate in November 2006 and garnered 62 percent of the vote. Oropeza died less than two weeks before the November 2, 2010 election, in which she had been expected to easily win reelection. Her name will remain on the ballot in the 28th Senate District. If she does win reelection, then the Governor will have to call a special election to fill the vacancy in that seat. She served in the California State Assembly for six years prior (2000–2006) to her time in the Senate. Oropeza ran for California's 37th Congressional seat in a June 2007 special election following the death of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald but lost the primary to Laura Richardson. Oropeza and Tom Mullins had been married since 1977 Oropeza began her career in public service by serving two terms as student body president while majoring in Business Administration at California State University, Long Beach. During that time, she was appointed by the governor to the Board of Trustees of the CSU system. Oropeza was a member of the Long Beach School Board from 1988 to 1994. In 1994, she was elected the first Latina member of the Long Beach City Council and won re-election in 1998. As an MTA board member from 1996 through 2000, Oropeza represented southeast cities of Los Angeles County and served on MTA's Planning and Programming and Construction committees. While with the MTA, she also chaired the Goods Movement Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments. Oropeza was a member of the California State Assembly from 2000 to 2006 for District 55. In January 2002, with barely a year's experience in the Assembly, Oropeza was named chair of the Assembly Budget Committee — on the eve of the worst deficit in California history. She served two years. From 2004 to 2006, Oropeza chaired the Assembly Transportation Committee. From that post, Oropeza, who served five years on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board. She was Vice Chair of the dual-house Latino Caucus. In 2005, the League of California City's Latino Caucus named her Legislator of the Year[citation needed]; in 2006, the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters awarded her the Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Award for her work on issues from air pollution and cancer prevention to radiation and environmental advocacy. She had long supported transportation improvements, including Proposition 42 in 2002, which sought to dedicate a portion of gasoline taxes toward construction On June 6, 2006, Oropeza won a very close Democratic primary against former Assembly member George Nakano. Oropeza was endorsed by the California Democratic Party and the California League of Conservation Voters. Nakano was endorsed by Congresswoman Jane Harman and California Assemblyman Ted Lieu. Oropeza captured 52.8% of the vote to Nakano's 47.2% Oropeza chaired the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee and was a member of the Appropriations; Transportation; and Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committees. She also chaired the select committees on Integrity of Elections and Public Health and the Environment and was a member of the Select Committees on the Alameda Corridor and Asian Pacific Affairs. In addition, she was a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Fiscal Oversight and Bonded Indebtedness, the Senate Subcommittee on California Ports and Goods Movement, as well as the Streamlined Sales Tax Project board of governance and the Commission on the Status of Women. As one of 26 Latinos in the Legislature, Oropeza chaired the California Latino Caucus Policy Committee on Environmental Justice. Upon election to the State Senate, Oropeza introduced 24 bills. The policy areas ranged from preventing smoking in cars while minors are present (SB 7) to increasing the efforts of the California State Controller to contact the owners of unclaimed property (SB 920). She introduced legislation in the areas of local sales, massage therapy, teacher credentials, and air pollution in ports.


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  • Created by: Mark R. Daniels
  • Added: 26 Oct 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 60683616
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jennifer Ann “Jenny” Oropeza (27 Sep 1957–20 Oct 2010), Find a Grave Memorial no. 60683616, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Cypress, Orange County, California, USA ; Maintained by Mark R. Daniels (contributor 46511922) .