36. Lorena Gonzalez
It feels odd putting Lorena Gonzalez on the Top 100. A pro-business Republican lobbyist once told us that she was the “most effective lawmaker” in Sacramento, but since this list does not contain elected officials, we skipped over her during her eight, productive years in the Assembly. But now she heads California Labor Federation, which is affiliated with 120 unions and 2.1 million members. For Gonzalez, who was the most stridently pro-labor voice in the Capitol until she resigned her seat in January, it was an obvious fit. The daughter of an immigrant farm worker and a nurse, Gonzalez rose to earn degrees from Stanford, Georgetown and the UCLA law school. Before she went to the Assembly, she was the CEO and secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial County Labor Council. Among a plethora of legislative victories, she pushed for the $15 minimum wage and authored legislation to get more independent contractors classified as employees. She is married to Nathan Fletcher,
a San Diego County supervisor.