Senator Richard Polanco is the former California State Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. First elected in 1986, Richard Polanco served sixteen years in the California Legislature. In 1994 he was elected to the State Senate and served as Senate Majority Leader from 1998 to his retirement in 2002.
Senator Richard Polanco is best known for his work with the Latino Legislative Caucus, which he chaired from 1990 to 2002. Under his leadership, the Senator led efforts to increase the number of Democratic Latino legislators from seven to 24. This contributed greatly to the first Latino Speaker of the Assembly years later.
Senator Polanco fought tirelessly on behalf of underserved communities throughout the State of California. He has spent a lifetime advocating for low income communities and authored significant legislation creating policy in the areas of: Congregate Living Facilities for HIV Populations, Accessibility Emergency Services Information for the Hearing Impaired, Small Business Innovation Research Program, Water Desalination Facilities, California Business Preference Bond Act, California Aerospace and Advanced Transportation Supplier Program, Farm worker Housing Attorney Fees Act, Community Colleges Economic Development Program, Community College –California /Mexican International Trade Centers, Cesar Chavez Community Service Holiday, and The California Voting Rights Act.
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Senator Richard Garcia Polanco (ret.) son of Maria and Lorenzo Polanco was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He graduated from James A. Garfield High School and East Los Angeles College where he would go on to attend both the University of Redlands and the Universidad de Mexico, where he majored in Business Administration. Senator Polanco lives in Los Angeles with his wife Olivia where he still continues to serve his community and his people.