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California School Boards Association President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez to accompany Congresswoman Grace Napolitano to State of the Union Address

Cruz-Gonzalez will make the case for increased education funding, stronger focus on equity and improved support for the whole child


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Feb 4., 2020) – California School Boards Association (CSBA) President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez will attend tonight’s 2020 State of the Union Address as a guest of Congresswoman Graciela Flores “Grace” Napolitano. Napolitano’s 32nd Congressional District encompasses much of California’s San Gabriel Valley, including the Azusa Unified School District, where Cruz-Gonzalez serves as a school board trustee.

A native Californian, fifth-generation Azusa resident and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, Cruz-Gonzalez brings tremendous passion and nearly two decades of education leadership experience to her role as president of the largest state school boards association. CSBA represents more than 1,000 school districts and county offices of education that collectively serve more than six million California students — one of every eight public school students in the United States.

“Congresswoman Napolitano is a champion for our youth, particularly in terms of providing children access to services that support their mental, social and emotional health. I’m humbled to join the Congresswoman in advocating for California’s 6.2 million students and their peers across the United States,” Cruz-Gonzalez said. “In order to maintain American prosperity and help our students reach their vast potential, we must invest in our schools, focus on improving overall student outcomes, close opportunity and achievement gaps, serve the whole child, and ensure that every student is prepared for success in college, career and civic life. This is our mission for California and the message I’m taking to Washington.”

Now in her 18th year as a school board trustee, Cruz-Gonzalez is an active member of CSBA, most recently holding the office of President-elect and previously representing the greater San Gabriel Valley on CSBA’s Board of Directors. In addition to her advocacy work through CSBA, Cruz-Gonzalez is the director of policy and initiatives for Californians Together, directing a project that supports immigrant and refugee students. Cruz-Gonzalez has also served as president of Californians Together and held positions on a variety of national and state nonprofit boards.

The President of the United States delivers the State of the Union annually to a joint session of Congress. Every member of Congress may bring one guest to the address. The 2020 State of the Union, which will be delivered to the 116th Congress, marks the first time a CSBA President has attended in an official capacity.  


CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.