New Jersey’s First Latina Legislator Returns to Statehouse
TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney swore Nilsa Cruz-Pérez into the State Senate today, where she will represent the people of the 5th Legislative district, which includes portions of Camden and Gloucester Counties.
“It’s exciting to come back to the Statehouse to continue to represent the people of New Jersey’s 5th Legislative district,” said Senator Cruz-Pérez, D-Camden and Gloucester. “My friends and neighbors in Camden and Gloucester Counties are struggling to make ends meet as the middle class continues to disappear. As a State Senator, I look forward as fighting to ensure their struggles are lessened so that all New Jersey residents can afford to get an education, have a good-paying job, buy a home and live the American dream.”
“Nilsa’s prior experience as a member of the Assembly will allow her to hit the ground running, and her background as a veteran and the first Latina to ever serve in the Legislature gives her a unique perspective to understand how to get things done for the hard working families of this state,” said Senate President Sweeney. “Nilsa has always been a tireless advocate for Camden and South Jersey and I am excited to have her back in the Legislature and look forward to working with her in the Senate.”
Senator Cruz-Pérez served in the General Assembly from 1995-2010. When elected to the General Assembly, Senator Cruz-Pérez became the first Latina to serve in New Jersey’s Legislator. Her swearing in today marks the first Latina to represent South Jersey in the New Jersey Senate. Her Assembly legacy includes authoring the Camden Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act of 2003, the restructuring the state’s Child Protective Services Division, as well as repealing the last New Jersey law discriminating against any ethnic group.
“We are thrilled to welcome Nilsa Cruz-Pérez to the Senate. I served with Nilsa in the Assembly where she distinguished herself as a fighter for policies that improve the lives of New Jerseyans, and in particular the most vulnerable. I know she will be a strong voice in the Senate for the issues that matter most to the residents of New Jersey and to her constituents,” said Senate Majority Leader Weinberg. “She will also be a great addition to the Women and Latino Caucuses in the Legislature.”
Senator Cruz-Pérez heads the Camden County Department of Constituent Service and the Office of Hispanic Affairs. As Director, she designs, direct and implements programs and initiatives that bring government services to communities that are in need. Born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Senator Cruz-Pérez served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Mainz Military Community in Germany.
Senator Cruz-Pérez will be filling the unexpired term of Donald Norcross who was sworn into Congress last month. The 5th legislative district includes Audubon, Audubon Park, Barrington, Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Camden, Deptford, Gloucester City, Haddon Heights, Harrison in Gloucester County, Lawnside, Magnolia, Mantua, Mount Ephraim, Runnemede, Wenonah, Westville, Woodbury and Woodlynee.
More information about Senator Cruz-Pérez can be found on the Senate Democratic office’s website: http://www.sendemweb.com/senator/nilsa-cruz-perez/.