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Member Biographies

Senator Carmelo Rios

Carmelo J. Ríos-Santiago was born on May 21, 1973 in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Carmelo Ríos-Nazario and Lydia Santiago-Estrella. Ríos attended primary school at the American Military Academy in Guaynabo. During his high school years he studied at the Florida Air Academy at Melbourne, FL where he graduated with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Rep. Angel Cruz

State Rep. Angel Cruz has been a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 2001. During his tenure, Rep. Cruz has drafted and had enacted several important pieces of legislation including Act 148 of 2014, which expanded newborn screening in Pennsylvania; helped to secure grants for numerous non-profit organizations and projects in his district; and played the leading role in the abduction investigation and return of Delamar Vera, a story which made international news and was depicted in a Lifetime Movie.

Rep. Mark Wheatley

Governors' Hispanic Advisory Council (member); Hispanic American Festival 2001-2003 (board member); Cooperation Education & Internship Association (past member); Mexican Civic Center 1994-1996 (board member); SOMOS President, U.S. West 1990-1992; National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (past member)

Rep. Juan Candelaria

Juan Candelaria has served New Haven’s 95th District since 2002. At the start of the 2017 General Assembly session, Rep. Candelaria was named to the leadership role of Deputy Speaker, the first Latino to hold the position. He is also a member of the Appropriations and Education committees.

Rep. Carlos Tobon

Carlos E. Tobon (D) was first elected in November 2014 to the House of Representatives from District 58 in Pawtucket. He serves as the first vice-chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and is a member of both the House Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. He is the co-chairman of the Legislative Black and Latino Caucus.

Rep. Cesar Chavez

Arizona State Representative César Chávez was first elected in 2016 to represent the 29th Legislative District in the Arizona House of Representatives, with his district covering the areas of Maryvale, South Glendale, and Litchfield Park. He is the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators' (NHCSL) Chair of the Human and Civil Rights Task Force and is in his second term in the Arizona State Legislature. Recently, he also was appointed Vice President for Membership at NHCSL.

Rep. Angela Romero

Angela Romero has always had a passion to serve. Growing up in Tooele, Utah, Angela was raised by her grandparents. Their dedication to raising a hard-working, well-educated woman inspired her to pursue college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. In 2012, she won election to represent House District 26 at the Utah Legislature. In 2016, she was elected by her colleagues to serve as the House Democratic Assistant Whip. Her upbringing, paired with her education, gives Angela a unique perspective into the needs of Utah’s growing communities.