By RYAN WANG
Newly-elected Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria held her community swearing-in ceremony at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center on West Main Street last Thursday, Jan. 19.
Soria will be representing California’s 27th Assembly District which stretches from Coalinga in the south, up to Livingston in the north.
The community event does not mark the start of Soria’s tenure. She is already a month and a half into her two-year term. She was officially sworn into office back on Dec. 5. Instead, the event aimed to galvanize support within the community and give Merced a chance to meet its new representative.
The ceremony began with a welcome speech by Merced College’s President Chris Vitelli, followed by an invocation led by Karmjit Singh. The presentation of colors and the Pledge of Allegiance was carried out by Girl Scout Troop #2263. Then, poet Joyce Dale performed her spoken word poem “Esmeralda is at the Table.” After, Soria was sworn in by Merced County Superior Court Judge Paul Lo.
Also in attendance, former Assembly representative Adam Gray, who passed the torch off to Soria.
Said Soria: “I am honored the hard-working people of the 27th Assembly District have sent me to Sacramento to fight for the Central Valley.”
Looking forward, Soria said she aims to tackle issues such as access to healthcare, water rights, and flood relief.
Merced is the most populous city in District 27 by far, with nearly 90,000 residents. Supporters say that strong support within Merced played a crucial role in her election win over former Sheriff Mark Pazin. Soria fared much better within populous urban areas, and Pazin found success in the more rural regions of the district.