Ricardo Lara is now state insurance commissioner, after a swearing-in ceremony in Sacramento on the Monday afternoon of January 7th.
Lara, a former senator, has been the eighth commissioner of insurance since it was created by voters in 1988. He is the executive branch of the California Department of Insurance, the regulator of insurance and law enforcement. consumer protection.
"They think insurance goes beyond security," Lara said in her inaugural speech. "It's about giving hope to people."
Lara defeated Republican Steve Poizner, who became independent, in mid-November.
He becomes the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected to a state office in California. And, when he was first elected to the state Senate in 2012, he was also the first openly LGBTQ color man to hold this title.
The retired US judge Vaughn Walker – the author of the decision that overturned the Prop. 8 and allowed the equality of marriage in the state – was sworn in Lara.
Lara said some of the problems he hoped to solve were forest fires and insurance scams, among others.
"Our elders, our poor and our immigrant communities are the target of crooks and scams," he said. "Our entrepreneurs are facing economic uncertainty. Millions of us live in an emergency room, far from financial ruin. We can not deny that with climate change, California is facing a threat like never before. "
Lara announced the creation of a position of Deputy Commissioner responsible for Climate and Sustainable Development to work with leaders in environmental and industry advocacy to deal with the risks of climate change.
"In the insurance sector, I'm asking you to join me in this fight against extreme climate change disasters," he said. "We need bold action to ensure that our communities adapt and resist this new reality. No other industry has the expertise to make sure California is ready to mitigate and reduce risks to our communities and our environment. "
Lara also said that he would work with the new administration of Governor Gavin Newsom, who was also sworn in on Monday, to expand access to health care.
Now that Lara assumes this new role, he has officially vacated his seat in the Senate, which represents District 33 of Southeast Los Angeles, which means that a special election will be required to fill this position.