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Inventory of the Gloria Molina Papers, 1983-1986
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Additional Information
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Molina (Gloria) Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1983-1986
    Collection number: See series description
    Creator: Molina, Gloria
    Extent: 3 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Gloria Molina, Democrat, was a State Assembly member from 1982-1986. Her papers include bill files on AB418-AB3950, AJR110 1983-1984, AB141-AB4303 1985-1986, ACR25, ACR28, AJR26, press releases, newspaper editorials, and background files from 1982-1986.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gloria Molina Papers, LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Deed of Gift received from Gloria Molina.


    Assembly Member Gloria Molina, Democrat was elected from the 56th District in 1982. At the time of her election, her district included East Los Angeles, Maywood, Chinatown, and downtown Los Angeles. The district had the highest concentration of Mexican Americans in the state, though many of them were not registered as voters.
    Assembly Member Molina was born in Montebello on May 31, 1948. Her full name is Jesus Gloria Molina. She attended public schools in her hometown. She attended Rio Hondo Junior College, East Los Angeles City College and California State University, Los Angeles. While attending college, she worked full time as a legal secretary. Then she became certified as an adult education instructor and taught clerical skills at the East Los Angeles Skills Center.
    She joined the Mexican-American Students Association (MASA) while attending East L.A. College. She was a member of the Comision Feminil Mexicana Nacional de Los Angeles. As a feminist, she helped found the Chicana Action Service Center to advocate for the rights of Mexican American women.
    She volunteered on several electoral campaigns. Beginning in 1974 she served as an administrative assistant for Assembly Member Art Torres's District Office. She then served as the Hispanic deputy for the California Carter Campaign in 1975. After President Jimmy Carter began his term, she worked in Washington, D.C., as a staffing specialist in the Office of Presidential Personnel. In 1979, she returned to California to serve as the director of Intergovernmental and Congressional Affairs for the Region IX office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In 1981, she moved to Los Angeles and began work as the southern California chief deputy for California State Speaker of the Assembly Willie Brown. She focused on outreach to the southern California Latino Community. During that period, she also joined the Californios for Fair Representation, a group that sought recognition of Chicanos in the reapportionment process.
    This background convinced her to run for the Assembly when Assembly Member Torres decided to run for the State Senate. In a close contest against Richard Polanco in the Democratic primary, Molina was victorious and then won the general election easily. She was the first Mexican American woman elected to the state legislature. She came to Sacramento with 23 other newly-elected Assembly Members.
    Over the course of her career, she served as the President of the Comision Feminil Mexicana Nacional and as a board member for the American Red Cross. She was a member of the East/Northeast Little Sisters Program, Business and Professional Women, the Democratic National Committee on Platform Accountability, the National Women's Political Caucus, the National Organization of Women, the Hispanic Democratic Club, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. She was honored as the Caminos Hispanic of the year, and the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation Woman of the year.
    According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks), she served on the following committees:
    Standing Committees
    Consumer Protection, 1985-1986
    Health, 1985-1986
    Human Services, 1985-1986
    Labor and Employment, 1983-1984
    Public Employees and Retirement, 1983-1984
    Vice Chair
    Revenue and Taxation, 1983-1986
    Subcommittee of Health on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, 1985-1986
    Chair, 1985-1986
    Select Committees
    Small Business, 1983-1984
    Special Committee
    Community Colleges, 1984
    As a member of the legislature, she served on the Commission of the Californias, 1983-1984 and the Commission on the Status of Women, 1985-1986.
    In 1986, she decided not to seek re-election. In part, this decision was influenced by her marriage to Ron Martinez with whom she has a daughter, Valentina. In addition, she was frustrated by the limits of what she could accomplish in the state legislature. She decided to return to local politics and ran a successful campaign in 1987 to be a member of the Los Angeles City Council from the first district. In 1991, she was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors;she was still in office in 2002.

    Scope and Content

    The Gloria Molina Papers consist of bill files, 1983-1986. The bill files document most of her legislative activity as a member of the California State Legislature. Her legislative focus was on gender equality, health, education, poverty and immigration. Her successful AB1407 (1983-1984) regulated immigration consultants, requiring them to supply clients with a contract in their native language. In 1984, she introduced AB3883, which allowed people who left their jobs because of sexual harassment to collect unemployment. Concerned about the low rate of transfers by minority students from community colleges to public universities, Molina introduced AB 3950 in 1984 that would have required clear articulation agreements between community colleges and California's universities; after passing the legislature, Governor George Deukmejian vetoed the measure. In 1985-1986, she attempted to carry legislation on improving services to the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled. She also devoted considerable energy to finding support for AB2454 that intended to improve services to middle-school students, especially minorities, who were at risk for dropping out of school. Governor Deukmejian vetoed it in favor of signing SB65 (Art Torres) that focused efforts on potential dropouts in high school. Her measure AB1502 that increased protection for minors testifying in child abuse cases was signed by the Governor.

    Additional Information

    Selected Publication by Gloria Molina
    Gloria Molina, "The U.S. Future through Hispanic Eyes," Aspen Institute quarterly, vol. 3, no. 1 (winter 1991), p. 110-117.
    Oral History
    Gloria Molina, oral history interview conducted by Carlos Vasquez in 1990, Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles, for the State Government Oral History Program, 1993.
    Related Collections
    There is a folder on Gloria Molina in the Center for Community Educational Excellence series of the National Council of La Raza Records, M0744, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
    Related Articles
    Kay Mills, "Gloria Molina, Ms. (January 1958), 80, 114.
    Unprocessed Records
    There are unprocessed records including subject files and some artifacts from 1983-1987 at the California State Archives. Please consult California State Archives staff for access.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been associated with these materials in the Archives' automated public access system (currently in development, September 2003).
    Molina, Gloria
    California. Legislature. Assembly.
    California. Office of Child Abuse Prevention.