Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood) said she would run for Congress, entering what could become a crowded race to replace Tony Cárdenas as representative of District 29 based in the San Fernando Valley.
Cárdenas has told the Times that he will not run for re-election in 2024 and will support Rivas to replace him in Washington.
Rivas, 49, said she was tired of the “constant state of dysfunction” the Republican Party seems trapped in since the October ouster of Kevin McCarthy as House speaker.
“Our constituents are paying the price,” Rivas said in a phone interview Saturday. “San Fernando Valley residents deserve a member of Congress who will focus on their needs, as I have done in the state Legislature.”
If elected, Rivas would be the first Latina to represent the district in Washington. Cárdenas in 2012 became the first Latino to represent the area in DC
“Luz is a genuine public servant who has dedicated herself to providing opportunities for the Valley,” Cárdenas told The Times. “She gets things done and she has always put working families first. “I am proud to support Luz for Congress.”
Rivas, originally from the Valley, joined the state Legislature in 2018, after the resignation of Raúl Bocanegra amid allegations of sexual harassment. An Assembly investigation finally confirmed a series of allegations that The Times first reported months earlier.
At the time, Rivas ran DIY Girls, a nonprofit she founded in 2011 that encourages girls to pursue careers in science, engineering and technology. She slowly began working in government in 2016, when then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed her public works commissioner.
After Bocanegra resigned, Rivas received a wave of calls from people urging her to replace him, she said. She quickly realized that she could continue to advocate for young female scientists in public office.
Serving in the state Legislature “was a way for me to continue my work across the state,” he said. “I love being a state legislator. Representing my hometown has been a great experience. “I liked this more than I ever thought.”
In Sacramento, Rivas chairs the Natural Resources Committee, allowing him to use his extensive background in science to focus on policies that address extreme heat, which has been devastating to his community. Rivas has touted securing millions in funding for her district as a state legislator and in this legislative cycle she has authored 18 bills, 11 of which became law.
Running for Congress, she said, is a good next step and an opportunity for her to not only address climate change through federal legislation, but also to restore confidence in the House.
“People are losing faith in what the United States House of Representatives can do for us,” he said, adding that he is “looking forward to this campaign.”
“I hope all elected officials and community leaders will support me,” he said.