Biography

Tony Mendoza was elected on November 4, 2014 to represent the 32nd Senate District, which 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.

Senator Mendoza was born at Hoover Hospital in South Central Los Angeles, the second youngest of nine children.  As a young man living in a single parent home, he witnessed firsthand the struggles of working families and the opportunities that a good education can provide.

Mendoza was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. He enrolled at California State University, Long Beach where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science: Public Administration, later earning his Multiple Subject Bilingual Teaching Credential at California State University, Los Angeles.  Now, he is enrolled at the University of Southern California for an Executive Masters in Leadership.

For more than 10 years, Mendoza taught elementary school in East Los Angeles while serving as a member of the board of directors of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA).  He was also a representative with the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).

His eagerness to help others motivated him to run for public office and allowed him to win a seat on the Artesia City Council.  In 1997, Mendoza became the youngest and first Latino member of the Artesia City Council. A year later, he became the youngest to serve as the city’s mayor at the age of 26.

After three successful terms on the city council and teaching for 10 years, Mendoza decided he could best serve fellow educators, parents, and the community by running for State Assembly.

In 2006, Mendoza won a seat in the Assembly and served the 56th District, representing the communities of Artesia, Buena Park, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Los Nietos, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier and Whittier.  Due to term limits, Mendoza left the Assembly in December of 2012. Tony has returned to the classroom in East Los Angeles as an elementary school teacher.  He is also working with Tri City Regional Medical Center as Senior Program Manager for the Parent Nutrition Program with Activate Hawaiian Gardens.

Senator Mendoza’s legislative career has resulted in multiple bills he authored being signed by the Governor and adopted into law.  His bill AB 97, passed in 2008, made California the first state in the nation to ban the use of Trans Fats—the health-deteriorating food ingredient—in restaurants. His parenting education legislation, AB 1291, passed in 2007 allows judges to sentence the parents of children with first-time gang offenses to anti-gang parenting education classes that prevent further involvement in the gang related lifestyle and its activities.  In 2011, AB 22 was signed into law by Gov. Brown, which prohibits the use of Credit Checks in the hiring process.

Mendoza also leads the charge to improve healthcare and educational needs for overlooked and under served communities.  He served as Past Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and was a member of the Assembly’s Agriculture, Elections, Rules, and Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media Committees.

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