A candidate committed to creating opportunity
The daughter of a factory worker and a TV repairman, Nanette grew up near Carson, CA, the youngest of 11 kids. Nanette’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico before she was born — her mother coming to the U.S. with just a third grade education. Growing up in a community where many of her peers didn’t graduate from high school, Nanette says there was “no real expectation” that she would go to college — and no sense that higher education would be possible for her. But with the urging of her mother, Nanette applied to the University of California-Davis and was accepted.
Nanette worked odd jobs to pay her way through school, transferring to UCLA during her freshman year to be closer to home so she could help support her sick father. After graduating from UCLA, Nanette put herself through law school at USC. Driven by a commitment to helping hardworking families in communities like hers, Nanette has dedicated her career to public service — from working for the NAACP to help address inequalities in health care to her work bringing Spanish-speaking families together. Nanette successfully ran for Congress to “make sure other kids growing up in families like [hers] have that same opportunity to work hard and succeed.”
An advocate for hardworking families
Nanette remembers watching her mother study for her U.S. citizenship exam and has said her parents taught her to “treasure and protect” her right to vote and never take it for granted. With the right to vote under attack by Republicans seeking to discourage and disenfranchise women and people of color across the country from voting, Nanette has said she will “never waver” in her commitment to defending voting rights. Nanette put herself through school with the help of student loans and is committed to expanding access to education. As a member of the Hermosa Beach City Council, she led the charge against a ballot measure to lift the ban on oil drilling in the Santa Monica Bay. The oil company tried to silence her — citing a California law that said she lived too close to the drilling site to vote — but Nanette successfully argued for her right to cast her vote, and the ballot measure was defeated. Nanette is bringing her commitment to protecting the environment with her to Congress, where she’ll also fight for fair economic policies — like raising the minimum wage and ending gender discrimination in pay — that benefit hardworking families.
A fight to keep the focus on the issues that matter
Nanette ran a campaign focused on the issues voters in the 44th District actually care about. She ran as the underdog before as a candidate for city council — and she knew how to win a tough election. Nanette worked hard to advance through California’s “top-two primary system,” where candidates from all parties run against each other at the same time, and then faced a tough fight in her general election, all in the second-most expensive media market in the country. With the full support of the EMILY’s List community behind her, Nanette had the resources she needed to get her message out and win. WOMEN VOTE! and our allies invested more than $700,000 to ensure Nanette’s victory in November.