A day after launching her campaign for California’s 19th State Senate District, Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton today garnered the highly influential endorsements of former United States Senator Barbara Boxer, California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, California State Controller Malia Cohen, Former California Controller Betty Yee, and Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.
Each endorser released a statement of support for Middleton’s campaign:
“Lisa Middleton is an accomplished leader who has made her region more inclusive, just and equitable. That’s why Equality California is thrilled to announce our early support for Lisa’s campaign for Senate. The 19th District needs Lisa’s courage, innovative thinking and unique ability to build coalitions in Sacramento, where she will be a trailblazing champion for full, lived equality while delivering critical resources to her community. We’re with Lisa 100 percent and look forward to helping her make history once again as California’s first transgender state legislator.”
–Tony Hoang, Equality California Executive Director
“I’m thrilled to announce my support for Lisa Middleton’s campaign for Senate District 19. A fearless fighter for the people she represents, Lisa is a compassionate, principled and savvy leader who will fight for those most in need in Sacramento while bringing people and ideas to the table to solve big problems. California needs Lisa’s forward-thinking ideas, compassion, grit and determination in the State Senate. I’m proud to offer her my enthusiastic endorsement.”
—Former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
“We need Lisa Middleton’s proven leadership fighting for California’s 19th District in the State Senate. Whether it’s serving as a champion for working families, confronting our climate crisis, helping small businesses grow, broadening our middle-class economy, making college more affordable, improving transportation networks, or enhancing public safety — I know that Lisa Middleton will continue to deliver for her constituents, and all Californians. I am very proud to endorse Lisa Middleton’s historic candidacy for State Senate.”
–California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis
“Lisa Middleton knows how to lead with grace and grit in the midst of adversity, which is why I am thrilled to endorse her campaign for State Senate. As we continue to confront California’s wide-ranging challenges, I know Lisa will bring vital solutions to the table to address systemic issues like confronting our worsening inequality and climate crisis. Our state legislature needs leaders like Lisa — let’s send her to Sacramento.”
–California State Controller Malia Cohen
“I’m proud to support Lisa Middleton’s historic race for State Senate. Lisa has a deep understanding of the wide variety of issues Californians face — lack of affordable housing, access to quality education, creation of good-paying jobs, and ability to retire with dignity — through her lived experiences and service to her community as a City Councilmember. I know Lisa will be a relentless fighter for working families and a champion for equality in the State Legislature. I am pleased to endorse her.”
—Former California Controller Betty Yee
Lisa Middleton is a neighborhood advocate, longtime public servant and member of the Palm Springs City Council, where she has delivered pragmatic, common-sense solutions to some of the Coachella Valley’s greatest challenges.
Lisa currently represents Palm Springs on the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and the Sunline Transit Board of Directors, where she works with partners from neighboring cities to provide high-quality transportation services to the region. She is a member of the CalPERS Board of Administration — helping build retirement and health security for 1.9 million California state and local school employees, retirees and their families — and Second Vice President of the League of California Cities (Cal Cities). Lisa also serves on Equality California Institute’s Board of Directors. She previously served as Chair of the Cal Cities Revenue & Taxation Policy Committee and as a member of the California State Department of Transportation Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force.
Prior to her election to the City Council, Lisa served as a member of the Palm Springs Planning Commission, Chairwoman of the Organized Neighborhoods of Palm Springs (ONE-PS), and Interim Executive Director of the Desert LGBTQ Center.
In April 2019, Lisa was appointed to the Board of Administrators of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), which provides pensions to 1.9 million people and health benefits to over 1.5 million people with investment assets exceeding $450 billion. She serves as Chair of the organization’s Finance & Administration Committee and Vice-Chair of the Risk & Audit Committee.
This came after Lisa retired from her 36 year-career with California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund, where she moved her way up the ranks. Her first job in government entailed performing workers compensation audits in the factories and meat-packing plants not far from where she grew up. At her retirement, she was the Senior Vice President of Internal Affairs; she also previously Chaired California’s Fraud Assessment Commission.
A first-generation college student who grew up in a working-class community of Bell Gardens in South East Los Angeles, Lisa is a graduate of UCLA and USC, receiving her Master’s in Public Administration from USC. Lisa has been widely recognized for her work, earning awards from the California Workers Compensation Institute, Palm Springs Pride Association, Equality California, Democratic Women of the Desert, SAGE/LGBT Senior Advocates and the California State Legislative LGBTQ Caucus.
Together since 2000, Lisa and her wife Cheryl married in 2013 shortly after they moved to Palm Springs. Lisa is also the proud parent of two accomplished educators.