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Assemblymember James C. Ramos, a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation and member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe, became the first California Native American state lawmaker in 2018. He currently represents the 45th District, which includes the cities of Fontana, Highland, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto, and San Bernardino.

The lawmaker chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #6 which deals with public safety issues, the California Legislative Native American Caucus, Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs, Assembly Select Committee on Youth Homelessness in San Bernardino County and is former chair of the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs and former chair of the Inland Empire Caucus.

Ramos is a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe. As a child, Ramos lived with his family in a mobile home in one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the county. To help support his family while attending school, he worked in fast food restaurants and as a janitor in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Ramos attended local public schools and graduated from San Gorgonio High School. Recognizing the importance of education, he went on to receive an Associate Degree in Business at Victor Valley College, a bachelor’s degree in accounting at California State University, San Bernardino, and a master of business administration degree at the University of Redlands.

As a successful small business entrepreneur, Ramos accumulated broad experience in many levels of community and government matters. Ramos’ commitment to public service led to a number of firsts: first Native American named to the California State Board of Education, the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees, and the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

During his time on the County Board of Supervisors, he served as Board Chair from 2015-2017 where he oversaw America’s largest geographic county and served a community of nearly 2.2 million residents. As chair, Ramos oversaw a county government comprised of more than 40 departments and agencies staffed by more than 25,000 public service professionals providing a wide range of vital services in areas that include public safety, health and human services, economic development, housing, recreation, and culture. Ramos’s wide range of experience and knowledge of local and regional issues is complemented by his unique ability to bring Republicans and Democrats together to collaborate on a variety of issues.

His awards include 2022 California State Commanders Veterans Council, the 2022 Youth Legislative Champion Award from the California 

In addition to his elected service, Ramos is a proven civic leader and has served on numerous boards and organizations in the Inland Empire. He is former Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, with a deep commitment to the preservation of California Indian culture. As chairman, he helped lead the day-to-day operations and during that time saw tremendous growth of a thriving tribal government. Additionally, Ramos is co-founder of the San Manuel Band’s Cultural Awareness Program, and serves as director of the California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference held annually at California State University, San Bernardino.

James and his wife, Terri, have been married for more than 30 years, and are the proud parents of four children and grandparents of three grandchildren.