In 1992, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard became the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress. As a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Congresswoman has worked tirelessly to create jobs, improve health services, and create stronger, better educational opportunities for her constituents in California’s 40th Congressional District. She also ranks as one of the House’s foremost supporters of immigration reform, a strong homeland security system, labor unions, veterans, and the rights of women and children.
Congresswoman Roybal-Allard is the first Latina to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, and the first Latina to serve as a chair or ranking member on a House Appropriations Subcommittee. As the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, the Congresswoman fights to ensure our homeland security personnel have the resources they need to keep our country safe, and she advocates for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that treats immigrants humanely, focuses on deporting those who threaten national security, and better secures our borders.
From her position on the House Appropriations Committee, the Congresswoman has secured millions of dollars to create jobs on much-needed local construction and transportation projects, and at organizations throughout her district. She has been at the forefront of the fight to improve the quality and affordability of health services, and has led legislative efforts to protect the health of mothers and babies. She has successfully secured funding for local health needs, including infant and child care, prenatal health, dental care, HIV testing, substance abuse, diabetes treatment, and telehealth services. She has been equally successful in obtaining federal dollars for local education and labor projects, including job training and placement services, arts and vocational education, afterschool care, early education, magnet schools, and English literacy programs.
In addition to the Homeland Security Subcommittee, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard serves on two other Appropriations Subcommittees: the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee, which oversees federal funding for public education, workforce training, and health care initiatives; and the Energy and Water Subcommittee, which oversees federal funding for water and energy infrastructure projects, the Army Corps of Engineers, and nuclear defense programs. She also serves as a House Democratic Senior Whip, and is a member of the following caucuses, among others: the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where she serves on the Civil Rights, Housing, and Voting Rights Task Force; the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC); the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC); and the Democratic Outreach & Engagement Task Force.
Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s accomplishments include:
Creating Jobs for the 40th Congressional District and Greater Los Angeles
• From her position on the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard has spearheaded many federal projects that have created jobs for the residents of the 40th District and Greater Los Angeles. These projects have included:
o The new federal courthouse for the Central District of California, Los Angeles Division.
o Building the Metro Gold Line Lightrail Eastside Extension to provide safe reliable transit.
o Deepening the Port of Los Angeles to increase jobs and international trade.
o Repairing and maintaining sewer and water systems.
o Preserving historic structures and cultural facilities.
• She is also leading the federal effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River by reconnecting it to our communities, and turning what is currently an eyesore into beautiful green space for Angelenos to enjoy. This important project will create jobs, offer new economic and recreational opportunities, and restore the fragile native ecosystems along the river, all while maintaining the river’s critical functions of flood control and flood prevention.
Increasing the Fairness of Our Immigration System and Protecting Our Homeland
• As the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, the Congresswoman plays a leading role in overseeing federal funding for immigration processing, border and port security, aviation security, cybersecurity, the Secret Service, and emergency preparedness. She is committed to ensuring that the Department of Homeland Security has the funding and resources it needs to protect our country.
• As the founder of the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, the Congresswoman has brought together a bipartisan group of members who work with nonprofit advocacy groups to address the specific needs of immigrant women as part of immigration reform.
• She authored an Immigration Fairness Agenda—a package of bills that will safeguard the rights and dignity of individuals and families impacted by our broken immigration system. Elements of these bills were successfully passed by the Senate as part of a bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform bill in the 113th Congress.
• She is an original co-author of The DREAM Act, which would give undocumented students a path to citizenship.
• She fought for a Department of Homeland Security directive to keep families together. This directive allows parents to maintain a relationship with their children while they are detained by immigration enforcement authorities.
Fighting for a Healthier District
• As a member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, the Congresswoman has secured funding for an array of local health needs. These have included infant and child care, prenatal health, dental care, HIV testing, substance abuse, diabetes treatment, and telehealth services.
• She has successfully fought for federal funding for local community health clinics, including the Bell Gardens Community Health Center. She also hosts an annual roundtable to bring the District’s community health clinics together.
• As the former Health Task Force Chair for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congresswoman championed efforts to pass health care reform, with a focus on improving the quality and affordability of health services.
• She authored and passed original legislation in 2008—The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act—to test newborns for treatable genetic disorders. This law has helped to save the lives of thousands of babies. In 2014, she successfully led the fight to reauthorize the law, which passed Congress as The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act.
• In 2007, she wrote and passed The Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP) Act, which has been instrumental in reducing underage drinking and its consequences. She is currently fighting for the law’s reauthorization by Congress.
• She led the introduction of The Health Equity and Accountability (HEAA) Act of 2014, a comprehensive blueprint to achieve health equity among all populations. The bill provided federal resources, policies, and infrastructure to eliminate health disparities, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or English proficiency.
• She is an advocate for mothers, and wrote The Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services for the 21st Century Act in order to help ensure that all women have positive and healthy birth experiences.
Strengthening Our Schools and Workforce
• The Congresswoman’s position on the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee has given her the influence to back robust local education and labor funding. She has successfully obtained federal dollars for job training and placement services, arts and vocational education, afterschool care, early education, magnet schools, and English literacy programs that benefit the 40th District.
• She has been a stalwart supporter of government programs and regulations that give children the opportunities they need to learn and succeed. These programs have included Head Start, the Even Start Family Literacy Program, Title I School Improvement Grants, and the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
• She has authored The Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which addresses abusive and exploitative child labor practices in agriculture.
• The Congresswoman is a dedicated ally of labor unions, and has been one throughout her tenure in Congress. She understands that a strong labor movement is critical to a well-paid and well-treated workforce.
• She has voted for living wages, adequate health care for workers, and regulations to keep workplaces safe and secure, so that all of the 40th District’s workers have a chance to make ends meet and be protected from harm at their places of work.
The Congresswoman has received many honors, including:
• The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Award
• The National Association of Community Health Centers’ Distinguished Community Health Defender Award
• The National Hispana Leadership Institute’s Legislative Award
• The American Public Health Association’s Public Health Legislator of the Year Award
• The National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Impact Award
• The March of Dimes Foundation Public Affairs Leadership Award
• Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Congressional Excellence Award
• The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence’s Humanitarian Award
• The Hispanic Dental Association’s National Leader Award
• The American Psychiatric Association’s Platinum Award
• The Eugene A. Obregon Memorial Foundation’s Eugene A. Obregon Medal
• The Southern California Leadership Network’s Elected Leader of the Year Award
• The YWCA-Greater L.A.’s Job Corps Champions Award
• The Tahirih Justice Center’s Congressional Leadership Award
• The Cuban American National Council’s 2013 Leadership Award
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard is the eldest daughter of the late Congressman Edward R. Roybal and Lucille Beserra Roybal. She is married to Edward T. Allard III. Together, she and her husband have four children and nine grandchildren. She received her bachelor's degree from California State University, Los Angeles.