Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1999)

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Why She Matters

When Napolitano was first elected to Congress in 1998, she vowed she wouldn't serve more than three terms. After winning reelection in 2010, she's up to seven. But voters in California's 38th district don't seem to mind.

Napolitano is a liberal voter known for her work on water and transportation issues, each important to the gerrymandered East Los Angeles district. She's championed water recycling and desalination efforts, and has successfully secured funding for interstate and public- transportation expansion projects.

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Journos beat Congress in softball game that’s now a well-established Hill tradition

Lawmakers lose to a team of journos in a charity game benefiting young breast-cancer survivors.


Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1999)

Getting elected to Congress can be bad for your bank account – UPDATED

On average, Congressmen are actually less rich than you'd expect given their race, education level, and age, to the tune of $343,093.

Briefly: Congressional softball, Mike Bloomberg, Michelle Obama

The lawmakers lose the game but seem to have fun. The mayor's going to be a grandfather. The first lady has a new social media platform.

On toxic Capitol Hill, women play ball for breast cancer

Charity trumps ideology for women members of the House and Senate seeking to aid young breast cancer survivors, spend some "girlfriend" time together and maybe even beat the rival Bad News Babes media team.

Women lawmakers, journos face off in softball game

Women lawmakers, journos prepare to face off in annual charity softball game.

Cellphone safety bill introduced #thecircuit

Discussion on the Hill has turned to how cellphones affect health.


hey, isn't that . . . ?

(Winfried Rothermel / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

l Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi holding hands on their way into the Four Seasons on Wednesday night. The tennis gods were in town to film a public-service announcement with Michelle Obama .


At a Glance

  • Career History: California Assembly (1993 to 1998); Mayor of Norwalk, Calif. (1989); Member, Norwalk City Council (1986 to 1992); Secretary, Ford Motor Co.
  • Birthday: December 4, 1936
  • Hometown: Brownsville, Texas
  • Alma Mater: Brownsville High School, 1954
  • Spouse: Frank
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Committees: Natural Resources ; Transportation and Infrastructure
  • DC Office: 1610 Longworth Bldg, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: 202-225-5256
  • State/District Office: 11627 East Telegraph Road, #100, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670, Phone: 562-801-2134
  • Web site
  • YouTube

Path To Power

Graciela Flores Napolitano was born in Brownsville, Texas, on Dec.r 4, 1936. She grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and graduated from Brownville High School in 1954. Napolitano got married at age 18 and had five children by the time she was 23.

She later relocated to California, where she worked as a secretary for the Ford Motor Company for 22 years. After her first husband died, she married Frank Napolitano, a restaurateur and community activist. The couple opened a pizzeria in 1980.

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The Issues

Napolitano is a liberal Democrat known for her work on water and transportation issues. While she typically votes with her party, Napolitano has no problem standing apart. In 2010, she voted against President Obama's tax-cut plan, saying it gave too much to wealthy Americans.

Mental health, women's and minority issues have become Napolitano's leading social issues. She's an outspoken advocate for immigration and health-care reform, and opposes the privatization of Social Security.

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The Network

Napolitano serves on the House Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. She chaired the subcommittee on Water and Power during the 111th Congress.

She is a former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which is headed by Rep. Charlie Gonzalez in the 112th Congress. She co-founded and co-chairs the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, alongside Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).

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Additional Resources

  1. Grace Napolitano's website. "Biography: Grace F. Napolitano." 2010.
  2. C-Span. "House Session, Part 1: Mental Health Month: May 24, 2010." 2010.
  3. Grace Napolitano's website. "Rep. Napolitano Holds Briefing on Mental Health in the Military." 2010.
  4. OnTheIssues.org. "California House: Grace Napolitano." 2010.
  5. Koch, Wendy. USA Today. "'Interesting collection of people' makes up freshman class." January 7, 1999.
  6. NPR. "Black, Hispanic Caucuses Refocus For New Congress." January 5, 2011.
  7. Roll Call. "Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)." 2010.
  8. Koren, James Rufus. San Bernardino County Sun. "President signs tax plan; all but one local rep votes for it." December 18, 2010.
  9. Project Vote Smart. "Representative Grace Flores Napolitano (CA): Voting Record." 2010.
  10. The National Journal. "Almanac: California Thirty Eighth District: Rep.Grace Napolitano (D)." 2010.
  11. Montgomery, David. The Washington Post. "At Hispanic Gala, Not A Single Wallflower." October 5, 2006.
  12. NPR. "AP Election Guide: Grace F. Napolitano." 2010.
  13. The New York Times. "Election 2010: California 38th District Profile." 2010.
  14. Project Vote Smart. "Representative Grace Flores Napolitano (CA): Voting Record." 2010.
  15. Congressional Mental Health Caucus. "Members." 2010.
  16. Cruz, Glibert. Time. "New Life for Immigration Reform." June 14, 2007.
  17. The Washington Post. "The U.S. Congress Votes Database: Grace Napolitano." 2010.
  18. The Los Angeles Times. "The decline of political competition." October 21, 2006.
  19. Slate. "The Most Gerrymandered Congressional Districts." 2010.
  20. USA Today. "The new House members." November 5, 1998.