Tony Mendoza, 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.
Senator 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’s Degree from California State University, Long Beach and his teaching credential at 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, Senator Mendoza authored significant legislation signed into law: Under AB 97, California became the first state in the nation to ban the use of Trans Fats in food preparation in all restaurants; AB 1291 allows judges to sentence the parents of children with first-time gang offenses to anti-gang parenting education classes; and AB 22 prohibits the use of consumer credit reports in the hiring process.
During his first year, 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 workers and volunteers 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materials are provided to voters in plain, accessible, and easily understandable language; and SB 422 which modernizes outdated law by deleting the derogatory term “alien” from the California Labor Code, as a definition for an immigrant individual and many more.
Senator Mendoza is Chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. He also is a member of the Appropriations, Business & Professions, Education and Transportation & Housing Committees. Additionally, he serves on the California Commission for Economic Development and the California Workforce Development Board.
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.