|Preceded by Hilda Solis|
Profession Professor, Politician
Role California State Senator
|Succeeded by Edward Hernandez|
Political party Democratic
Name Gloria Romero
Party Democratic Party
|Born July 10, 1955 (age 60)
Barstow, California (1955-07-10) |
Alma mater California State University, Long Beach (B.A.) (M.A.) University of California, Riverside (Ph.D.)
Office California State Senator since 2001
Education University of California, Riverside, University of California, Irvine, California State University, Long Beach
Gloria J. Romero, Ph.D. (born July 10, 1955) is active in education reform in California, a former California State Senator and the Democratic majority leader of the California State Senate from 2001 until 2008. She was the first woman to ever hold that leadership position.
Early life and career
Romero grew up in Barstow, one of six children. Her father worked in the railroad yards and her mother, who left school after sixth grade, stayed home and raised the kids. Romero received her associate's degree from Barstow Community College before going on to earn a B.A. and an M.A. from California State University, Long Beach and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Riverside.
She taught as a professor at state universities and served as a trustee and vice president of the board of trustees of Los Angeles Community College District.
She was elected to the California State Assembly in 1998 and to the Senate in 2001. Romero represented the 24th district, which includes East Los Angeles, portions of the city of Los Angeles, as well as a major part of the San Gabriel Valley, including the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, City of Industry, Irwindale, La Puente, Monterey Park, Rosemead, West Covina and Whittier.
In 2008, Romero stepped down as Majority Leader and became chairman of the Education Committee. In that position she authored and guided to passage a fiercely contested ‘parent trigger’ law which allows a majority of parents in a failing school to vote on a method to restructure the school.
Romero was term-limited in 2010.
As a public university professor in California, she is a member of the California Faculty Association.
Campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Following U.S. Representative Hilda Solis's December 2008 selection to become U.S. Secretary of Labor by President-elect Barack Obama (and expected subsequent confirmation), Romero indicated strong interest in running in the special election for California's 32nd congressional district to replace her, but later chose to run for the nonpartisan California State Superintendent of Public Instruction instead. Romero was supported by advocates of charter schools, while her two major opponents were supported by teachers unions and school administrators, respectively. Eventually, Romero finished third, receiving 17.0% of the vote in a crowded 12-person field.
Romero leads the California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, an interest group funded by Wall Street hedge fund managers who support charter schools. In the 2012 election, she is campaigning for California's Prop. 32 that would bar unions from withholding money from worker paychecks to finance political activities.