Assemblyman James Ramos announced on Tuesday, Jan. 11, his re-election campaign in the newly drawn 45th Assembly District. Ramos, a Democrat, has represented the Inland Empire both as a County Supervisor (elected in 2012) and in the State Assembly since 2018.
“It is an honor to represent the Inland Empire,” said Ramos. “My focus will continue to be on job creation, improving the mental health of our young people and working to keep our communities safe.”
Ramos launched his campaign with support from the community, including an endorsement from Sheriff Shannon Dicus and local labor.
“Assemblyman James Ramos is committed to keeping our neighborhood safe and free from violent crime. Law enforcement trusts James Ramos, and so do I,” stated Dicus.
“James Ramos is committed to providing opportunities for working-class families. He has championed funding for training and workforce programs that put people to work. We are proud to stand with James,” said Jimmy Elrod, special representative, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.
In addition, Redlands Mayor Paul Barich, Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson and Highland Mayor Pro Tem Penny Lilburn have endorsed Ramos.
Ramos, a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation in San Bernardino County, is a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe.
Ramos, the first California Native American to serve in the California State Assembly, was elected to represent residents of the 40th District on Nov. 6, 2018. His district includes the cities of Highland, Loma Linda, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands and San Bernardino.
As a child, he lived with his family in a mobile home in one of the most poverty-stricken areas in San Bernardino County. To help support his family while attending school, he worked in fast food restaurants and as a janitor in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Ramos went to local public schools and graduated from San Gorgonio High School.
He received an Associate of Arts degree in business at Victor Valley College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting at California State University, San Bernardino, and a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Redlands.
Ramos’ commitment to public service led to a number of firsts: first Native American appointed to the State Board of Education; first Indian to serve on the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees; first Native American elected to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, and later, first Native American chair.
He is also a former chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Ramos’s wide range of experience and knowledge of local and regional issues is complemented by his unique ability to bring Republicans and Democrats together to collaborate on controversial issues. It also led to an appointment by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California State Native American Heritage Commission. Gov. Jerry Brown named him to the State Board of Education in 2011.
In Ramos’s first term in the Assembly, he championed mental health issues such as bullying and suicide prevention before COVID-19 exacerbated the mental health crisis.
His deep commitment to preserving Native American culture also led him to co-found the San Manuel Band’s Cultural Awareness Program.
James is married to Terri Ramos, his high school sweetheart, for over 30 years. They are the proud parents of four children, and have three grandchildren.
District 45 notes
• Ramos already represents over half of this district.
• Gov. Gavin Newsom won this seat in 2018 by over 60 percent.