Groundbreaking ex-LA County supervisor Gloria Molina faces terminal cancer

Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina announced Tuesday, March 14 that she is battling terminal cancer.

In a Facebook post, the 74-year-old Molina says she’s been receiving treatment for three years and her disease is “very aggressive.”

She shared that she is “not sad” and was fortunate to have lived “a long, fulfilling and beautiful life.”

“I enter this transition in life feeling so fortunate,” the trailblazing Molina wrote in the post. “I have an amazing and caring family, wonderful friends, and worked with committed colleagues and a loyal team. Throughout my life I’ve had the support of many people,”

In 1982, Molina was the first Latina elected to the California state Assembly; in 1987, she was the first Latino elected to the Los Angeles City Council; in 1991, she was the first Latina elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Born in Pico Rivera, as a county supervisor she served the First District, representing Pico-Union, East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

She was a county supervisor for 23 years, from 1991 to 2014, and is known for working toward improving the county’s foster care system, foster youth graduation rates, and the county’s Department of Family and Children Services.

In 2008, she was the focus of a whirlwind of negative publicity for introducing a motion to the Board of Supervisors to fine food trucks, including taco trucks in East L.A., for parking for more than one hour.

Molina fought the city of Whittier’s plan to drill for oil in a portion of the Whittier Hills purchased with taxpayer monies from state Measure Proposition A, and fought to keep the land preserved in perpetuity as open space and for wildlife.

After the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority dropped its lawsuit against the drilling project to benefit from future oil revenues, Molina said she was betrayed by the environmental group and stood her ground.

As a member of the LA Metro board, Molina successfully pushed for the extension of the Gold Line (now L Line) light rail into East Los Angeles.

Molina attended public schools in Montebello, as well as East Los Angeles College and Cal State Los Angeles.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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