Gloria Negrete McLeod, who over the last two decades zoomed to the highest political levels in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. that can be held by a local elected official, is now engaged in extending her political career at the municipal level. As a Chino resident for more than four decades, she is running for city council there.
Beginning her political career as a Chaffey College board member in 1995, she was elected to the California Assembly in the 61st District in 2000, and remained in that position until 2006. In the Assembly, she was chairwoman of the Public Employment and Retirement and the Business and Professions committees. She was on the Higher Education and Health committees her entire Assembly term.
In 2006, Negrete-McLeod moved into the California State Senate in the 32nd District, where she served for six years. As a state senator, she chaired the Local Government Public Employee Retirement System Committee with jurisdiction over and responsibility for early examination of legislation affecting state and local public employees’ retirement, as well as the Business and Professions Committee. She also served as co-chair of the Higher Education Master Plan and Joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee, and was a member on the Health, Higher Education, Legislative Ethics, and Veterans Affairs committees.
In 2012, she successfully vied for Congress, defeating fellow Democrat Joe Baca. During her single term in the House of Representatives, she served on the Agriculture and Veterans committees. “Although it was a great honor and privilege to serve in Congress, the environment was not favorable to getting things done and I chose not to return to Congress,” she said.
In 2015 Negrete-McLeod was reelected to the Chaffey Community College Board where she currently serves as board vice president. “In 2017, of more than 1,400 hundred community colleges nationwide, Chaffey College was selected as one of nation’s top 10 colleges,” she said. “Chaffey’s goal is to ensure that more students succeed each year, Moreover, in order to help the environment and be self-sufficient, Chaffey College installed solar panels on all three campuses – Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, and Chino.”
Since leaving Congress, Negrete-McLeod reimmersed herself in local issues at the municipal level. She is a board member of “Protect Chino,” which promotes stable, sustainable, and compatible growth and adherence to Chino’s general plan. Protect Chino wants the city to fastidiously apply the provisions of Measure M, a growth control initiative passed by Chino voters in 1988 which attenuates the authority of the city council and by which land in Chino cannot be rezoned to allow more homes than is specified in the city’s general plan or zoning maps without a vote of the city’s residents. Measure M requires that the proponent of a project looking to override the general plan or zoning code pay for the referendum on the land use standard change unless the proponent is able to gather the signatures of ten percent of the city’s registered voters first. Negrete-McLeod was active in the “No on H” movement, which last year effectively prevented D.R. Horton from constructing 180 dwelling units on 30 acres of rural land south of Francis Avenue between Vernon and Benson avenues.
“High density development of semi-rural property in non-compatible areas circumvents Chino’s general plan,” she said.
Negrete-McLeod said that if she is elected she will seek to ensure a “safe community, efficiency in city services, protecting taxpayer dollars, and local government accountability and transparency.”
A 48-year resident of San Bernardino County, and 43-year resident of Chino, Negrete McLeod and her husband Gilbert L. McLeod, a retired police lieutenant, have 10 children, 27 grandchildren, and 37 great grandchildren.
In assessing her accomplishments in office, Negrete McLeod considers her most important achievement to have been her “active involvement in the cleanup of the area’s groundwater contamination. My legislative priority was to improve the quality of California’s current water supply, ensuring there was a reliable plan in place that would adequately provide for the state’s growing water needs.”
During her State Senate and Assembly terms, Negrete McLeod said she “wanted to ensure affordability and access to higher education, enhance the quality of health care, improve the current transportation system to promote efficient goods movement while reducing traffic congestion in the Inland Empire, and promote the growth of quality job opportunities for district residents. I had 168 legislative enacted bills signed by three governors during my Assembly and Senate service.”
In this year’s election, the second held under Chino’s now adopted district voting system, she is running in District 2, where no incumbent is vying. Also seeking election in Chino District 2 are Dorothy Pineda, Sylvia Orozco and Mark Hargrove.