Assemblywoman Annette Quijano
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano has represented the 20th Legislative District since 2008 and has earned the reputation of a champion legislator, tackling the various issues people face in daily life. She understands the challenges middle-class families must overcome and works tirelessly to improve the lives of seniors, veterans, women, children and workers.
Assemblywoman Quijano is currently the Chairwoman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, and a member of the Financial Institutions and Insurance and the Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committees. She also serves as a Deputy Majority Leader and is a member of the New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus.
Quijano is the prime sponsor of landmark legislation including the bill to legalize recreational cannabis and expunge criminal records, expand paid family leave, increase penalties for wage theft, remove the statute of limitations on sexual assault, and the Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act. She is also at the legislative forefront of gun safety, animal rights, LGBTQ equality, and improving security for vulnerable religious communities and against emergent threats. No matter the issue, Quijano brings a thoughtful and empathetic, yet commonsense approach to address the needs of today and tomorrow.
Quijano is a New Jersey native born to Puerto Rican parents. After a Bachelor of Science in Management from Rutgers University, she earned her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law in Newark. She was later admitted to the bars in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During her time as Chairwoman of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee, she was the only elected official in the country to attend Harvard University’s Leadership in Crises: Preparation and Performance, which used real-life examples to successfully manage, survive, and recover from the unexpected.
Her career began as a teen advocate organizing a grassroots campaign to dispute a local cable company’s decision to eliminate Spanish language programming. This led to a growing recognition and her election as the youngest board member of the Puerto Rican Congress of New Jersey (PRC). While in the PRC, she became their youngest Vice-President.
Later in her career, Quijano served as Governor’s Counsel for Governors Codey, McGreevey, and Corzine. She was selected to the Assembly in 2008, and became Chairwoman of the Assembly Homeland Security Committee from 2011-2018. She also served as Vice Chair on the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs and Chairperson of the Hispanic Delegation on Racial Equity, an initiative of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) funded by the Kellogg’s Foundation. She is a member of various organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the NJ State Bar Association, the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, Latinas United for Political Empowerment (LUPE), and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). The Assemblywoman is also a Red Cross Volunteer, and an Honorary Girl Scout.
Quijano has received much acclaim for an Emergency Preparedness Program that trains individuals to be ready for any kind of emergency.
Quijano continues to fight for economic, social, and racial equity. In her home district, she is known for working hard to provide the poor and most vulnerable with food, clothing, and gifts during the holidays.