Grace Napolitano
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Grace Napolitano

Grace Napolitano
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California

January 3, 1999
Esteban Edward Torres
Constituency34th district (1999-2003)
38th district (2003-2013)
32nd district (2013-present)
Member of the California State Assembly

Personal details
Graciela Flores

(1936-12-04) December 4, 1936 (age 84)
Brownsville, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Frank Napolitano
(m. 1980; died 2017)
EducationCerritos College
Texas Southmost College
WebsiteHouse website

Graciela Flores "Grace" Napolitano (born December 4, 1936) is the U.S. Representative for California's 32nd congressional district, serving in Congress since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served in the California State Assembly and the Norwalk City Council.

Napolitano previously represented the 34th district from 1999 to 2003, and the 38th district from 2003 to 2013. Due to redistricting, Napolitano ran for, and won re-election in the 2012 United States elections in California's 32nd congressional district against Republican candidate David Miller. In the 2014 midterm elections, Napolitano was reelected, defeating Republican challenger Arturo Alas.

Early life, education and career

Napolitano was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. After high school, she married and moved with her husband to California, where they raised five children.

Napolitano began her political career as a member of the Norwalk City Council, winning her first election in 1986 by a mere 28 votes. Four years later she won re-election by the highest margin of votes recorded in city history. In 1989, Napolitano was elevated by her council colleagues to serve as Mayor. During her council tenure, she focused much of her attention on providing access to constituents and on redevelopment and transportation issues to address the city's need for jobs and a more diversified economic base.

Napolitano made her way up through the ranks of Ford Motor Company for 21 years. Following her retirement in 1992, she was elected to the California Assembly, and became a leader on international trade, environmental protection, transportation and immigration. In 1996 she requested and received the creation of the first new California State Assembly Standing Committee in nine years, the Committee on International Trade, which she chaired until being termed out in 1998. In her six years in the Assembly, she also served as chair of the Women's Caucus and vice-chair of the Latino caucus.

She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[1]

U.S. House of Representatives



A 2009 story first reported by Bloomberg News[2] and further detailed by the Los Angeles Times[3] questioned the personal loan interest rate that the Federal Election Commission had authorized her to use during her initial 1998 run for Congress. Both Bloomberg and the Times noted that the FEC had accepted the argument that the eighteen percent rate was equivalent to the early withdrawal penalty that Napolitano was subject to by withdrawing $150,000 from her employee retirement fund and then loaning those funds to her campaign. Both sources also reported the rate dropping to ten percent in 2006, and cited FEC filings as of December 31, 2009 indicating that $221,780 in interest had been paid. The Hill, a Washington DC-based newspaper, reported that Federal Election Commission filings[4] for the campaign reporting period ending September 30, 2010 had indicated that the debt had been completed retired.[5]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Natural Resources Committee

Napolitano has been a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources since the 106th Congress and was selected the Chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee for the 110th Congress. She has promoted conservation, water recycling, desalination, and sound groundwater management and storage to address Southern California's need for adequate water quality and supply. She is proud of her legislative efforts on a number of fronts -- assisting in the implementation of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, a water management plan for the State of California, protection of the ecosystem in the Bay-Delta and promotion of the use of advanced technologies. She is also a member of the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

At the start of the 110th Congress, Napolitano became the most senior new member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, with jurisdiction over America's aviation system, surface transportation, freight and passenger rail, the inland waterway system, international maritime commerce, the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' support of the nation's water resources, and the federal clean water program. Napolitano's experience includes 6 years on the California State Assembly Transportation Committee, and current work on rail safety and congestion relief in the San Gabriel Valley.


  • Oversight of U.S. Airline Customer Service: May 2, 2017. The Congresswoman posed questions to the witnesses, including Oscar Munoz,[12] after the Committee Chairman Bill Shuster left his chair. Napolitano's questions[13] were critical of the airlines' plans to impose self-regulation in response to recent customer service controversies. As the founder and Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, Napolitano further asked whether the Airlines provide mental health services to their employees because of the stressful nature of flight attendant jobs and the increasing demands that airline companies put on flight attendants. Mr. William J. McGee, the country's foremost expert and advocate on consumer rights as the Aviation Consultant for Consumers Union responded that this was "an excellent question because... right now we have a situation where employees are under tremendous strain because of the executive decisions that are putting flight attendants in the front lines of many of these situations. Flight attendants have a primary responsibility to ensure safety, evacuation, and of course customer service, but we have asked them to be bouncers, and police officers, and all kinds of other things, so there is no question that there is an issue of training as well."

Congressional Mental Health Caucus

Statistics showing one in three Latina adolescents contemplated suicide prompted Napolitano to spearhead a school-based Latina adolescent mental health program in three local middle schools and one high school. She co-chairs the Congressional Mental Health Caucus with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). The bipartisan caucus included more than 70 members during the 108th Congress and over 90 members during the 109th Congress. As co-chair, Napolitano has hosted congressional briefings on children and on veteran's mental health needs, working on proposals to improve VA mental health services. A key priority is legislation to provide mental health parity in health insurance.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus

During the 109th Congress, Napolitano served as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which continues to address national education, immigration, health, and civil rights issues, and the impact these policies have on the Hispanic community.


In 2011, Napolitano voted against the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.[14]

Personal life

Napolitano was married to Frank Napolitano, a retired restaurateur and community activist, from the early 1980s until his death on December 15, 2017.[15][16] The Napolitanos had five children - three boys and two girls. In 2013, daughter Yolanda Maria Louwers died of cancer. Louwers was regularly on the campaign trail with Napolitano throughout her political career.[17]

In February 2016, Napolitano suffered a minor hemorrhagic stroke while attending a campaign event in Los Angeles County. By mid-April 2016, she was back at work.[18]

She is not related to former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

See also


  1. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "California's Napolitano Makes $220,000 From 1998 Campaign Loan". Bloomberg. February 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  3. ^ "Profile: Grace Napolitano". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ "Profile: Grace Napolitano". Federal Election Commission. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "Report: Members of Congress find ways to keep money in the family". The Hill. March 22, 2012. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Caucus Membrs". US House of Representatives. Retrieved 2021.
  12. ^ "Airline Leaders Lambasted at Hearing on Passenger Treatment". May 2, 2017 – via
  13. ^ "Oversight of U.S. Airline Customer Service". U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Video recording; remarks at 1 hour, 58 minutes. Retrieved 2017.CS1 maint: location (link)
  14. ^ "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". December 16, 2011. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ Wire, Sarah D. (December 18, 2017). "Rep. Grace Napolitano's husband, Frank Napolitano, dies after battle with cancer". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ Modesti, Kevin (December 18, 2017). "Frank Napolitano, husband of San Gabriel Valley Rep. Grace Napolitano, dies after battle with cancer". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "Community Mourns Passing of Yolanda Louwers, daughter of Rep. Grace Napolitano". Cerritos Community News. January 16, 2013. Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ Wire, Sarah D. (April 19, 2016). "Rep. Grace Napolitano is back at work in Washington after stroke". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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