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Member Biographies

Rep. Arturo Alonso-Sandoval

An engineer and first generation American, Rep. Arturo Alonso Sandoval (OK-89) represents south Oklahoma City as one of the youngest elected officials in the legislature.

Rep. Marcelino Quinonez

As a first generation college graduate, Rep. Marcelino Quiñonez (AZ-11), the Minority Whip, has dedicated his career to providing opportunities to the community through his various servant leadership roles.

Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self

Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self (WA-21) is the West Region Chair of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She has represented the 21st Legislative District since 2013, and is a member of the Washington House leadership team, serving as Majority Caucus chair.

Rep. Alma Hernández

Representative Alma Hernández (AZ-3) is a healthcare consultant and a professor of healthcare policy and innovation. She led Arizonans United for Healthcare and is a board member at Jewish Family Children’s Services of Southern Arizona. She serves on the Health and Human Services and the Federal Relations committees of the Arizona House.

Asw. Lorena Gonzalez

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is the 2019 awardee of NHCSL’s highest honor, the John S. Martínez Legislator of the Year Award. She chairs the California Latino Legislative Caucus and is the first Latina to chair the California Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.

Senator Carmelo Rios

Senator Carmelo J. Ríos-Santiago is the Immediate Past President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. In early 2018, he was elected President of NHCSL after having served as Vice-President for Membership, Parliamentarian and Vice-President. Senator Ríos-Santiago has served in the Puerto Rico Senate since 2005 and is the current Senate Majority Leader.

Asm. Víctor Pichardo

Assemblyman Víctor M. Pichardo (NY-86) started his career in politics as Staff Assistant to Senator Chuck Schumer and was eventually promoted to Community Outreach Coordinator/Latino Liaison. After a stint in education Victor became the Director of Community Affairs for State Senator Gustavo Rivera in the Bronx. He currently serves as Vice Chair of NHCSL's delegation to the Quad Caucus.

Sen. Anitere Flores

Senator Anitere Flores (FL-39) is the first Republican Hispanic woman to serve in both the Florida House and Senate since 1986. Due to her unwavering support of education, the American entrepreneurial spirit as well as the elderly, she was recognized in The Huffington Post’s “40 under 40: Latinos in American Politics.”

Del. Elizabeth Guzmán

Delegate Elizabeth Guzmán (VA-31) is the Vice President for Public Policy of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Prior to her election on December 5, 2021, she served as the South Region Chair and as member of the NHCSL Executive Committee. Delegate Guzmán was elected in 2017 to become the first Hispanic female immigrant to join the 400 year old Virginia General Assembly.

Sen. Nilsa Cruz-Pérez

Senator Nilsa I. Cruz-Pérez (NJ-5), a former U.S. Army Sergeant, is the Chair of NHCSL's Veterans and Military Affairs Task Force and of the New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon

Representative Teresa Alonso León (OR-22) is the Secretary of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Prior to that position she served as a member of the NHCSL Executive Committee from the West Region and as Vice-Chair of NHCSL's Labor and Workforce Development Task Force.

Asw. Wendy Carrillo

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (CA-51) immigrated to the United States as a young child during El Salvador’s Civil War. She was a broadcast journalist for twelve years covering human rights, global conflict and US politics. She also worked in communications for SEIU and for a member of the Los Angeles City Council.

Asw. Catalina Cruz

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (NY-39) has the privilege of representing one of the most diverse districts in the nation. Her first legislative session was one of the most progressive in recent New York history. She is an experienced attorney and a leader for tenant protections, immigration reform and workers’ rights. She has led the charge on rent reform.

Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk

Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (MD-21) is the East Region Chair of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Prior to this role, she served as Chair of NHCSL's Law and Criminal Justice Task Force and as a member of the NHCSL Executive Committee. In 2018, Delegate Peña-Melnyk was awarded the NHCSL John S. Martínez Legislator of the Year Award for her work in the Maryland State Legislature and for tackling some of NHCSL's most complex resolutions in many years, including cannabis and gun policy, by building consensus support for innovative policies.

Sen. Luz Escamilla

Senator Luz Escamilla (UT-1) was the first Latina elected to the Utah State Senate and the first immigrant elected to the Utah State Legislature in 2008. She serves as Utah's Senate Minority Whip, and as Chair of NHCSL's Banking, Insurance and Credit Task Force since 2018.

Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto

Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto (NM-15) is the Immediate Previous President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Prior to his election on December 5, 2019 he served in the NHCSL leadership as West Region Chair and member of the Executive Committee. In his state legislature, Sen. Ivey-Soto serves as Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Indian, Rural & Cultural Affairs Committee; Interim Member in the Investments & Pensions Oversight Committee and the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee; as well as Advisor for the Courts, Corrections & Justice Committee.

Rep. Rafael Anchía

Rafael Anchía is currently serving his ninth term in the Texas Legislature representing Dallas, Farmers Branch and Irving.He is a co-founder and Managing Director in the global investment firm, Civitas Capital Group; he also serves as Of Counsel at the largest law firm in Dallas, Haynes and Boone.

Asw. Yvonne López

Assemblywoman Lopez currently serves as Chair of the Housing Committee and member of the Transportation and Independent Authorities and Financial Institutions and Insurance committees respectively. Assemblywoman Lopez also serves as Deputy Speaker and is a member of the New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus.

Sen. Víctor Torres

A United States Marine and retired New York City Police Detective, Florida State Senator Victor M. Torres, Jr., Osceola County and parts of Orange County.