SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) announced Juana Mata as the 48th Assembly District Woman of the Year, an annual event at the Capitol to celebrate the achievements of exceptional women across the state. The Assembly and Senate both participate in this highly anticipated ceremony.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to women like Juana,” Assemblywoman Rubio said. “When women lead, our communities thrive. Juana shines a light on lupus, and her work continues to positively impact the lives of countless individuals and families suffering from this illness by providing them with valuable resources.”
Mata came to the U.S. at the age of 12, and lived with her family in Baldwin Park for 24 years. Currently, she resides in West La Puente. In 2009, she was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body attacks its own tissues and organs, which spurred her desire to become an advocate for patients’ rights. Mata is a social worker for the Department of Children and Family Services and serves on a Multicultural Outreach Task Force. She also leads a Lupus support group in Baldwin Park at the Kaiser Community Outreach Center.
Mata continues to raise funding and awareness, and provide encouragement for survivors of Lupus. Alongside Mata, six additional women were honored by Rubio in a ceremony held in the district on Saturday, March 10th.
The Woman of the Year event was founded in 1987 by Assemblywoman Bev Hansen (R) and Assemblywoman Sally Tanner (D) in an effort to engage the Legislature in Women’s History Month. The California Legislative Women’s Caucus sponsors this annual event in the Capitol and their mission is to represent and advocate on behalf of women’s interests by increasing participation and representation.
The 48th Assembly District is comprised of the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, City of Industry, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, Monrovia, West Covina, and the San Gabriel Valley unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Arcadia, Ramona, Valinda and West La Puente.
Contact: Marc Engstrom