At a Glance
- Career History:
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
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
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.
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.
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.).