Grace F. Napolitano (born December 4, 1936), American politician, has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999, representing the 38th District of California (map). She was born in Brownsville, Texas, was educated at Texas Southmost College and was a member of the Norwalk, California City Council and a member of the California Assembly before entering the House. In the 109th Congress, Rep. Napolitano will serve as the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
In 2000, the two dominant parties in the state of California co-operatively redrew both state and federal legislative districts to preserve the status quo, ensuring the electoral safety of the politicians from possibly unpredictable voting by the electorate. Therefore the 38th district is gerrymandered. In addition, the Voting Rights Act encourages districts to be created to increase minority representation. According to the Almanac of American Politics, one of the reasons the 38th District is so shaped is to have a majority of Hispanics. The major cities of East Los Angeles, Montebello, Norwalk, and Pomona are all majority Latino enclaves surrounded on the east, north, and south by majority white and Asian communities, many of whom vote Republican.
Napolitano received 100f the vote in 2004 and had no Republican opposition. In 2006, she has no primary opposition and her Republican opponent is aerospace engineer Sidney Street.