Influentials: LA Focus, Part 4 -->
Professional Baseball Player
Los Angeles Dodgers
In 2004, Mr. Ramirez was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series with the Red Sox.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Mr. Ramirez currently plays left fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers after spending seven years with the Cleveland Indians and seven with the Boston Red Sox. Recognized for his strong offensive abilities, he has been a perennial all-star and a nine-time winner of the "Silver Slugger" award.
Ed P. Reyes
Los Angeles City Council
In 2005, Mr. Reyes was re-elected to a second term, capturing 75 percent of the votes. A native of northeast Los Angeles, Los Angeles City Councilman Reyes represents many of the neighborhoods in which he grew up. In city government, he has supported policies that have helped reduce crime, improve schools, create more jobs and expand green space. Councilman Reyes is chair of the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee and the Metro Gold Line Authority.
U.S. Olympic Team
Following University of Southern California's 2007 NCAA Championship, the Trojan forward was asked to join the U.S. National Olympic Soccer Team. In Beijing, the team won the gold medal. Prior to China, Ms. Rodriguez carried 23 caps, five international goals, and three assists in the 2008 season. Ms. Rodriguez is studying international relations at USC.
California State Senate
Sen. Romero, a Democrat, has represented California's 24th district since 2001 and is the highest-ranking women in the California legislature. She is described as an educator, a dedicated social activist, a passionate prison reformer, and in her own words, a "forceful advocate" for California's most disadvantaged citizens. Before entering politics, Sen. Romero was a professor in the state university system and earned her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California, Riverside.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Ms. Salas, who came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of five, is widely regarded as one of the most gifted activists and organizers in the country. Since becoming CHIRLA's director in 1999, she has spearheaded several campaigns. She helped win in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students and established day laborer job centers that have served as a model for the rest of the nation. She led efforts to allow all Californians to obtain a driver's license and is a leading spokesperson on federal immigration policy.
Hilda L. Solis
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2003, Rep. Solis became the first Latina to serve on the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce. A nationally recognized leader on the environment, Rep. Solis received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. First elected to Congress in that same year, Rep. Solis serves the 32nd District, which encompasses East Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Her priorities in Congress include expanding access to health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families.
UCLA School of Public Affairs
Professor Torres-Gil is an expert in the fields of health and long-term care, the politics of aging, ethnicity, and disability. In 2005 he was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a delegate to that year's White House Conference on Aging. In addition to serving as acting dean, he holds appointments as Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy and directs the Center for Policy Research on Aging. He is the author of six books and more than 80 articles and book chapters. His experience in government and public policy is likewise extensive and includes serving as the first Assistant Secretary for Aging in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.
Fidel A. Vargas
Centinela Capital Partners
In 2006, Mr. Vargas helped found the investment management firm, Centinela Capital Partners, which started with the backing of the California Public Employees' Retirement System. Centinela Capital currently manages a $400 million private equity fund for CalPers. Previously, Mr. Vargas was a managing director for TMG Advisors, an investment consulting firm that specializes in business development, strategic planning, and government affairs. Mr. Vargas was elected, at age 23, mayor of Baldwin Park, California. He has served on numerous public and private sector boards, including Sponsors for Education Opportunities, Operation Hope Inc., the Los Angeles County Water Districts, President Clinton's Advisory Council on Social Security, and President Bush's Commission on Strengthening Social Security.
City of Los Angeles
Elected Mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, Mayor Villaraigosa was previously State Speaker of the California State Assembly. He is a leading Hispanic voice on issues of concern to his city, his state, and the country as a whole. A Democrat, he was elected to the State Assembly in 1994 after more than two decades in the labor movement. While Speaker, he oversaw the passing of state legislation modernizing the public schools, banning assault weapon, and enacting a "Healthy Families" program that provides healthcare for over 500,000 California children.
Stephen D. Yslas
Corporate Vice President, Secretary and Deputy General Counsel
Joining the giant global defense and technology company in 1975 as a corporate counsel, Mr. Yslas was appointed to his current position in 2001. He supervises the company's general legal activities and has particular responsibility for international and regulatory matters. During 1980-1990, Mr. Yslas was a member of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners. Before climbing aboard Northrop Grumman, he worked on the legal staffs of the National Labor Relations Board and the Atlantic Richfield Company.
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