Biography

Senator Tony Mendoza

Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), a Los Angeles native and former school teacher, was elected on November 4, 2014 to represent the nearly one million residents of the newly-drawn 32nd Senate District. Senator Mendoza previously served in the State Assembly from 2006 to 2012 representing the 56th District.

Tony Mendoza grew up in South Central Los Angeles. He is the first in his family of nine children to graduate from college. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach and his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles. He also obtained his Executive Masters in Leadership from the University of Southern California. For more than 10 years, Mr. Mendoza taught elementary school in East Los Angeles.

In 1997, he was elected to the Artesia City Council, becoming the first Latino and youngest councilmember at the age of 25. He made history again a year later when he became mayor. Mendoza served three successful terms on the Artesia City Council before running for the State Assembly in 2006.

While serving in the State Assembly, then-Assemblymember Mendoza authored significant legislation signed into law including: AB 97, under which California became the first state in the nation to ban the use of Trans Fats in food preparation in all restaurants; AB 1291 which allows judges to sentence the parents of children with first-time gang offenses to anti-gang parenting education classes; and AB 22 which prohibits the use of consumer credit reports in the hiring process, thereby removing what is often a discriminatory factor in employment decisions.

During his first year in the State Senate, Senator Mendoza successfully authored ten bills signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Some highlights include: SB 212, which addresses the proliferation of Butane Hash Oil and methamphetamine manufacturing in residential neighborhoods by making it an aggravated felony to manufacture the drugs within close proximity to occupied residences and structures; SB 708 which addresses childhood hunger by improving access to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs; SB 792 which protects children in day care by requiring these workers and volunteers to be immunized against measles, pertussis and influenza; SB 505 which ensures that California’s Voter Bill of Rights and other election materials are provided to voters in plain, accessible, and easily-understandable language; and SB 432 which modernizes outdated law by deleting the derogatory term “alien” from the California Labor Code as a definition for an immigrant individual.

In his second year in the Senate, Senator Mendoza had eight bills that were signed by Governor Brown. Among these bills were: SB 1072, or the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Bill, so-named for a special needs student who tragically lost his life after being abandoned on a school bus, which requires an alarm be placed at the back of school buses to ensure no children are left unattended; SB 1160, which enacted sweeping reforms to the workers’ compensation system in order to promote efficiency and eliminate fraud ; SB 1379 which set regulations for the credentials necessary to teach part-time at the Community College level. Further, he continued to recognize important holidays and events for cultural groups in the 32nd District, like Pakistani-American Day, Portugal Day, and India Republic Day. Additionally, Senator Mendoza has focused on cultivating the next generation of community and political leaders with his Young Senators Leadership Program, which gives high school seniors the chance to learn about and engage in public service, both in the 32nd  District and in a mock legislative session in Sacramento.

Senator Mendoza is currently the Chair of the Insurance, Banking & Financial Institutions Committee.  He also is a member of the Committees on Budget and Fiscal Review, Education, Governmental Organization, and Transportation & Housing.

Senator Mendoza lives in Artesia with his wife, Leticia, their three daughters, and son.

The 32nd Senate District includes the cities and communities of Artesia, Bellflower, Buena Park, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Lakewood, Los Nietos, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Rose Hills, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier, and Whittier.