Former U.S. Representative For Los Angeles County and Under Secretary of Defense Launches Campaign With Powerful Endorsements
Covina, CA – Today, former Naval Officer, Los Angeles County Congressmember, Under Secretary of Defense and the Military’s Chief Diversity, and Inclusion Officer, Gilbert Cisneros announced his candidacy for California’s 31st Congressional District, with powerful endorsements from local elected officials, labor unions, California Democratic Party leaders, and members of the California Congressional Delegation.
Cisneros, who previously represented Los Angeles County and parts of the 31st District before being appointed by President Biden to the Department of Defense, founded the Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros Foundation in Pico Rivera, which supports educational initiatives across the San Gabriel Valley and country.
“As the son of a Vietnam war veteran, the values of serving our country and supporting others were instilled in me at a young age,” said Cisneros. “This ethos inspired me to volunteer for the Navy after college, launch an educational foundation that has empowered thousands of first-generation college students to achieve their dreams, represent Los Angeles County in Congress, and be appointed by President Biden as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. As I witness the continued attacks by MAGA extremists on the programs, and policies that I implemented at DOD and fought for in Congress, like access to reproductive care, environmental protections, and gun safety legislation, I know that our work is not done, which is why I am announcing my candidacy for Congress.”
Cisneros announced his Congressional campaign with a broad coalition of endorsements:
Bonita Unified School District Board Vice President, Greg Palatto –
“As a school board member, I fight for strong public schools every day. I see that same spirit in Gil Cisneros. Gil has used his good fortune in the service of others: his foundation has helped so many kids from the San Gabriel Valley have a shot at college. Gil has fought for public education, worker rights, and environmental protection in Congress, and I can’t wait to see him represent the San Gabriel Valley in Congress. Let’s get Gil on the Hill!
Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Representative Nanette Barragán (CA-44) –
“Gil has used his good fortune to improve the fortune of thousands of Latino students in Los Angeles County. In Congress he fought to lower tuition costs for students and our veterans and has led the Administrations efforts to expand educational opportunities at the Department of Defense. We need Gil on the Hill and I am proud to endorse him.”
International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 12 –
“In Congress and at the Defense Department, Gil Cisneros has been a bold, forward-thinking, unapologetic champion for California’s working people. He has worked with us to support rebuilding California, fight for Infrastructure projects, implement tougher workplace protections, and expand opportunities to grow our middle class. Gil is a strong voice for investing in America’s failing infrastructure and making technical education available to all. As a military veteran, Gil has helped to support pathways for veterans to become Building Trades members. Operating Engineers, Local 12 is proud to support Gil Cisneros to represent the San Gabriel Valley in Congress because we know he will fight for a stronger middle class. Let’s get Gil on the Hill!” – Matt Gaines, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 12
- New Democrat Coalition Action Fund
- Democrats Serve
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36
- International Union of Operating Engineers Local 12
- Congressmember John Garamendi (CA-08)
- Congressmember Josh Harder (CA-09)
- Congressmember Salud Carbajal (CA-24)
- Congressmember Raul Ruiz (CA-25)
- Congressmember Tony Cárdenas (CA-29)
- Congressmember Linda Sánchez (CA-38)
- Chair of The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressmember Nanette Barragán (CA-44)
- Congressmember Mike Levin (CA-49)
- Greg Palatto (Bonita Unified School District Board Vice President)
- Joe Magallanes (West Covina Unified School District Board Clerk)
- Andre Quintero (retired El Monte Mayor)
- Fidel Vargas (retired Baldwin Park Mayor)
- Carlos Alcalá, California Democratic Party Chicano Latino Caucus Chair
- Rima Nashashibi, California Democratic Party Arab American Caucus Chair
In Congress, Cisneros directly recovered over $550K for constituents, brought back $136M in non-COVID related grants, responded to 119K letters, and held 250 in-district events, including 30 town halls. Cisneros co-sponsored the bipartisan Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 to extend VA care to “Blue Water Navy” veterans exposed to Agent Orange, lowered health insurance premiums through the repeal of the federal health insurance tax, and secured funding for improving military transition assistance and employment programs, making it easier to connect veterans with the benefits they earned. Cisneros also restored and protected $255M in federal funding for Hispanic Serving Institutions. He spearheaded tougher gun safety laws, including universal background checks to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. Cisneros also stood up for women’s health, earning 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
During his tenure as the Pentagon’s Under Secretary for Personnel & Readiness, Cisneros was named the Department of Defense’s first Chief of Diversity and Inclusion. Cisneros ensured LBGTQ rights were protected, and he implemented the Pentagon’s newest polices on access to free contraceptives and on reproductive health care (abortions and assisted reproductive technology) for military personnel, which covers travel costs and time off for troops who travel out of state due to reproductive healthcare restrictions or bans in the state where they are stationed. Cisneros oversaw the implemention of 82 recommendations to reform the military sexual assault and harassment guidelines and practices, including creating an independent counsel’s office for sexual assault cases. An education advocate, Cisneros increased access to childcare for both military families and DoD civilian employees. He was the driving factor to ensure DoD would implement Universal Pre-K in their elementary schools around the world.