Denise Moreno Ducheny Gets Things Done

By Karyn Bruggeman on
November 10, 2011

Denise Moreno Ducheny’s leadership earned a reputation in the California legislature that we think is pretty great: she gets the job done. Denise is running for Congress in California’s 51st Congressional district, and we couldn’t be more excited to help put this diligent, effective leader to work in Congress next year.

When presented with opportunities to take on responsibility or pursue leadership roles, Denise has done so with an enthusiasm that stems from her desire to help those she serves. Denise has spent her career working in Southern California and has spent the past thirty years working as an attorney specializing in immigration and family law and pursuing opportunities to improve her community in every way. She first began this work serving on the San Diego Community College District as a Trustee and founding the Association of Latino Community College Trustees. Her commitment to affordable education persists to this day, and is especially relevant given the growing role community colleges play in helping those who can’t afford to attend a four year college.

During her term in the state legislature, Denise positioned herself on committees that would be both useful and relevant to the needs of those she served. In both the State Assembly and the Senate, she was the first woman and first Latino to chair the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, responsible for overseeing a state budget of over $100 billion. In that position, Denise was instrumental in passing welfare reform, protected senior homeowners, made college more affordable, and expanded access to community health clinics- to name just a few. This is a woman who is focused on the issues that matter to everyday people, and has both the drive and the leadership ability to bring about real change.

Denise will face Juan Vargas in the Democratic primary in June; a candidate who has been gunning for a place in Congress for years and is known for running aggressive campaigns. The battle in this solidly blue district along the California-Mexico border may not end there, however. Last year voters in the state of California passed a ballot initiative called Proposition 14, also known as the “open-primary initiative.” Beginning in 2012, candidates from all parties will be placed together on one ballot for the primary, and the general election in November will serve as a run-off between the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary, regardless of party affiliation. What this means is that Denise could likely face Juan Vargas in both June and November of next year.

With the help of the EMILY’s List community Denise can gather the resources she needs to take on these new challenges in stride. California’s 51st Congressional seat has never been represented by a woman in Congress. Rep. Bob Filner’s decision to run for Mayor of San Diego represents a great opportunity to give them just that, and add another pro-choice Democratic woman to Congress -- one who can serve as an authentic and authoritative voice for the diverse needs of her district and the country.

Learn more about her campaign and help her win in June and November!

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