SACRAMENTO — When one went into teaching, the other followed suit. When one went to East Los Angeles College, the other did as well. They’ve been practically inseparable for much of their lives.
Now, the Rubio sisters will only be separated by a hallway at the Capitol.
The Baldwin Park (Los Angeles County) Democrats, Sen. Susan Rubio and Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, made history Monday by becoming the first sisters in state history to serve in the Legislature.
“She is my senator and I am her Assembly member,” Blanca said.
“So we’ll hold each other accountable,” Susan added.
The sisters noted their mother was having a difficult time deciding which swearing-in ceremony to attend at noon, before ultimately agreeing to see Susan — the political newcomer. The sisters separated by 14 months also reflected on their challenging upbringing.
They entered the country illegally when they were young children, got deported to Mexico and were left to learn English all on their own. They were also the first in their family to go to college.
“This, to me, is very meaningful because, growing up, we didn’t have Latina women like us as role models,” Susan said. “For me, I hope that this is something that young ladies look up to. A lot of the times, we’re told, ‘You can’t.’ We are here to be an example that anything’s possible and there are no limitations.”
As a returning lawmaker, Blanca had some tips for her younger sister: Rely on the scheduler, refer requests to staff members and be a good listener. Blanca hopes she and Susan will demonstrate the value immigrants bring to the United States.
“We’re essentially Trump’s worst nightmare. We are those bad Mexicans that he talks about. We were undocumented, and then we fought hard, we got an education and now we’re sitting here.”
Bryan Anderson is a Sacramento Bee writer.