The first Mexican-American Jewish person ever elected to public office in the United States, and daughter of an immigrant, Hernandez represents Arizona’s 3rd House District in Tucson. An outspoken advocate for the U.S.-Israel relationship and a fierce supporter of Holocaust education in schools, Representative Hernandez was recently named one of Forward’s 50 most influential Jews.
In March 2020, Representative Hernandez was the lead sponsor for a bill requiring Arizona law enforcement to track antisemitic crimes and adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which includes “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” Representative Hernandez also introduced legislation requiring schools to implement mandatory Holocaust education for Arizona students, which stalled in the Senate due to COVID but which she will reintroduce in the next legislative session.
Elected to office by her constituents at the age of 25, Representative Hernandez became the youngest member and youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona House of Representatives. A product of public education, Hernandez holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona. Prior to winning office, Representative Hernandez worked at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, leading the Jewish Community Relations Council. She also served as program coordinator for Bridging the Gaps, an initiative working to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and support those most affected by it.