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Congresswoman Laura Richardson represents California's 37th District, which includes the communities of Long Beach, Compton, Carson, Watts, Willowbrook and Signal Hill, as well as parts of the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. She was sworn into Congress in 2007 and is currently serving her 3rd term.
Congresswoman Richardson served the Long Beach community as a city councilwoman for six years before being elected to the California State Assembly in 2006. Following a special election in 2007, she immediately began serving in the House of Representatives, and as such, Congresswoman Richardson has the rare distinction of having served in government at the local, state, and federal level in the span of less than one year.
The Congresswoman currently sits on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, where she works to improve the nation's highways, railways, airports, and seaports while overseeing the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She is a member of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, the Highways & Transit Subcommittee and the Railroads, Pipelines & Hazardous Materials Subcommittee.
Congresswoman Richardson is also on the House Committee on Homeland Security. In this role, she works to protect America's borders and ensure the nation is prepared for and able to effectively respond to any disasters that may arise. She is the Ranking Member for the Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee and also sits on the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee.
In addition to her House Committee assignments, the Congresswoman is a founding member of the California High-Speed Rail Commission, where she has worked to secure funding for a project that has the potential to create 450,000 permanent jobs statewide over the next 25 years.
In January of 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 (DERA) which Congresswoman Richardson authored. The legislation extends a voluntary national and state-level grant and loan program that creates jobs, saves lives and significantly improves the nation's air quality. DERA is widely considered one of the most cost-effective federal programs in the nation. The EPA has estimated that in California alone, the program averages more than $13 in health and economic benefits for every $1 in funding. Without the signing of Richardson's bill, the authorization for DERA would have expired at the end of the fiscal year.
Congresswoman Richardson graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and received an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business. She spent 14 years working in the corporate sector at Xerox.