- Contact Norma
Senator Norma J. Torres was elected in 2013 to represent the 32nd Senate District, which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, and Pomona. Prior to joining to the State Senate, she served as a State Assemblymember, a city council member and the first Latina mayor of Pomona. In each of these roles, Norma has proven herself a courageous lawmaker unafraid to stand up for our families and our communities in the Inland Empire and throughout California.
Norma was the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development, and has been on the front lines of the fight to help homeowners stay in their homes. This last year, she held special hearings across the state to explore the federal “Keep Your Home California” programs, ultimately locating and securing $2 billion in federal funding to help California’s struggling homeowners keep their homes. Additionally, she has used the influence of her Chairmanship to pass into law legislation designed to help delinquent homeowners refinance their second mortgages, lower the interest rates of mobile home owners who wish to purchase their lots, provide funding for and accelerate the construction of affordable housing, and make it easier for veterans just home from war to purchase homes. She is also a proud co-author of the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, a collection of some of the toughest laws in the nation to protect homeowners.
One of Norma’s top priorities is making California a safe place to raise a family, and her tenure in public office is underscored by a consistent emphasis on reducing crime. She has succeeded in passing laws that keep drivers under the influence of drugs from our streets and highways, prevent peeping toms from exploiting outdated statutes, and raise the fines on those who illegally tamper with online data. Furthermore, Norma has used her expertise as a former 9-11 police dispatcher and as Chair of the Select Committee on 9-11 Service to bring our emergency services into the 21st century. On the local level, Norma passed the state’s first ordinance prohibiting sexual offenders from living near schools or together in large group homes, and imposed gang injunctions that substantially reduced the severity of Pomona’s persistent gang violence problem.
As a mother and a member of the Select Committee on Delinquency and Youth Development, Norma understands the state’s responsibility to its most vulnerable children. To this end, Norma has used her political clout push through legislation that makes lives easier for at-risk youth. She has fought to reduce homelessness by ensuring foster youth have adequate housing when aging out of the foster care system, provided state support for Native American foster youth to be placed within their communities, and improved access to federal dollars for the state’s struggling school districts.
Norma is the recipient of numerous honors and awards from agencies and organizations around the world. She has been recognized for outstanding leadership by the California Sheriff’s Association, League of California Cities, Professional Engineers in California Government, and Yellow Ribbon America and the American Hero’s Foundation, among many others. In 2009, she received the coveted “Woman of the Year” award from Lieutenant Governor of California. One year earlier, she was an honored guest in Guatemala, where she toured the countryside, met with Heads-of-State, and accepted the Order of the Great Knight, the country’s highest honor.
Norma immigrated to the US from Guatemala at age five and has lived most of her life in the Inland Empire. She received her B.A. in Labor Studies from the National Labor College in Silver Springs, Maryland. Before being elected to the State Assembly, Norma worked for 18 years as a bi-lingual 9-1-1 police dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department, a position which she credits with shaping her major legislative priorities. In 2008, she was selected to serve as the Treasurer of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors. An early supporter of President Obama, she was chosen to be an At Large Member and super delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Norma is a longtime resident of Pomona, where she resides with her husband Louis and their sons Robert and Matthew. A proud supporter of the US military, her son Christopher is currently serving on active duty in the United States Air Force.