|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 44th district
January 3, 2017
Nanette Díaz Barragán
September 15, 1976
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles (BA)|
University of Southern California (JD)
Nanette Diaz Barragán (; born September 15, 1976) is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 44th congressional district since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously was a Hermosa Beach City Counselor from 2013 to 2015.
Barragán was born in Harbor City, Los Angeles; she grew up the youngest of eleven siblings, raised by immigrants from Mexico in Torrance and the surrounding area, where she attended North Torrance High School and played softball. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000 and her Juris Doctor at the University of Southern California in 2005, where she served on the Interdisciplinary Law Journal.
During college and until 2003, Barragán served as the Executive Director of the Gillian S. Fuller Foundation (formerly the Fuller Foundation), where she was in charge of funding worthy nonprofits focused on education, the environment, and youth programs. Funded organizations included Heal the Bay, the Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Para Los Niños, Proyecto Pastoral, and Literacy Partners, among others.
In 2003, Barragán served as an extern to Justice Carlos Moreno at the California Supreme Court. In 2004, she served as an extern at the Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation, a law firm for low-income people in Los Angeles. There she assisted pro per workers who needed assistance filing claims for unpaid overtime and meal breaks.
In 2005, Barragán received an externship at the United States Attorney's Office, Central District of California where she worked with attorneys in the Organized Crime and Terrorism section. While there Barragán assisted on a money laundering trial team, in investigations, and in prosecuting Central Violations Bureau cases.
Barragán then joined Latham & Watkins LLP, where she worked on a variety of cases from land use to securities litigation. While at Latham, Barragán was the lead attorney in an immigration asylum case spanning three years for a child and mother from Guatemala; withholding of removal was granted. After Hurricane Katrina, Barragán and her colleague Blake Megdal flew to Biloxi, Mississippi to provide pro bono assistance to victims of the hurricane concerning insurance claims. She also served as a child advocate and was the Spanish-speaking adoption attorney for low income families seeking adoptions.
Barragán started her political career with the Clinton White House in the Office of Public Liaison doing African American outreach, and served as the facilitator between the President and African American organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1999, Barragán worked with the NAACP's Washington Bureau where she worked on health policy and the issue of racial health disparities. Thereafter she volunteered for many federal and local candidates while serving on the Board of the L.A. County Young Democrats for three years prior to attending law school.
In 2012, Barragán took a leave of absence from her law firm to move to Florida to work on President Barack Obama's campaign with the voter protection team. She served as the out-of-state volunteer attorney director and recruited attorneys across the country to volunteer in Florida to make sure every eligible voter had the opportunity to vote.
In 2013, after working in Florida for Obama, Barragán ran for Hermosa Beach City Council, fighting an oil company's proposal to drill 34 oil and water injection wells in Hermosa Beach and into the Santa Monica Bay. Barragán beat six candidates and was the top vote-getter. She became the first Latina ever elected and the first woman in ten years.
She resigned from office on July 31, 2015 to run for Congress in the state's 44th district.
Barragán officially announced her candidacy for California's 44th congressional district on Equal Pay Day in mid-April 2015. The seat was being vacated by Democrat Janice Hahn, who decided to run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2016.
In June 2015, a local newspaper cited as her motivation for running, "The district is one where only 60 percent graduate from high school and 10 percent go on to college. That's how people live. I'm one of those 10-percenters who beat the odds. (...) I've achieved the American dream. Now I'm coming home to make sure others have the same shot at the dream."
After announcing her candidacy, Barragán received major endorsements, including EMILY's List, a nationally prominent backer of female Democratic candidates; National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC); the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV); the Latino Victory Project; South Gate Mayor Henry Gonzalez (ret.), South Gate Council members Bill De Witt, Maria Davila and Belen Bernal; Carson Commissioner Janice Schaffer; and scores of congressional members including Rep. Linda Sanchez, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Eric Swalwell, Raul Ruiz, Ruben Gallego, Joaquin Castro, and Lois Frankel.