Who am I?

In my fifteen years in elected office, I have built a proven record of progressive accomplishments.

As State Senator, I represent more than 1.1 million people in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. Since I was elected to the State Senate in 2006, more than 70 of my bills have been signed into law. In fact, Around the Capitol recently named me one of 2013’s “Most Effective Legislators,” citing my ability to “cross ideological lines, take on big bills and keep warring parties within the caucus.”

I am proud to serve as the President of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), representing more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials nationwide and working hard to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Winning a seat on the Los Angeles City Council at the age of 26, I was later elected by my peers as President of the Council, becoming the first Latino and youngest member ever to serve as President. During my term as City Council President, I also was elected as the President of the California League of Cities, the first Latino to serve in that position.

I chair the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and the Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Public Policy. I also serve as a member of the following committees: Appropriations; Business, Professions, and Economic Development; Elections and Constitutional Amendments; Governmental Organization; and Labor.

Like so many Californians, my parents emigrated here in pursuit of the American Dream. My father, a retired member of UNITE HERE, worked as a short order cook and my mother cleaned houses. I grew up in the working class neighborhood of Pacoima, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering and now serve as a member of the MIT Board of Trustees. I live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles with my wife Angela and our two sons.

Why am I running?

I’m running for Secretary of State because I want California to be a shining success story of how we can reverse trends, defy cynics and demonstrate that we can increase voter engagement and turnout. In the last Presidential Election more
than 10 million Californians did not vote. Five million were registered to vote and didn’t show up at the polls. Another 5 million eligible voters didn’t even bother to register. I am running for Secretary of State to change that.

Meanwhile, throughout the nation we continue to see attempts to restrict voter registration and undermine voting rights, particularly in minority communities. The Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act last year confirms the
renewed importance of the Secretary of State’s office. As Secretary of State I will not only strongly oppose laws that undermine voting rights, I will work to make California the national counter example to those efforts by increasing voter participation, expanding civic participation and creating greater voter access for all.

I believe that my work and my experience have prepared me well to lead. In the State Senate I have authored legislation to increase funding for education, ban single-use plastic bags and institute landmark legislation to regulate domestic drones and genetic testing. I have been a leader when called to serve, taken on tough, complicated issues and I have worked effectively with my colleagues and my constituents to better serve the communities I represent.

My Goals

I want to increase voter engagement and participation by setting goals and doing a better job of informing the public about the when, where and how of elections. I want to make voting more accessible and convenient and I want to ensure that every vote is counted and accounted for.

I will also focus on the largest division of the Secretary of State's office, the business unit. We need to shorten the time it takes to incorporate so that those seeking to start new businesses can do so quickly and create jobs without delay.

Numerous other states have sought to make it more difficult to register to vote and have even established barriers to voting. California should be the counter-example and demonstrate to the nation how to engage and encourage the public to register and participate in elections. We can and should be the example of how to engage the public and strengthen our democracy.

My DFA Values

Equality, diversity, fairness and opportunity are the foundations of the Democratic Party and are a reflection of my personal values. As the son of immigrants, I understand firsthand the challenges facing working families. I have spent my career expanding access and equality for all - from marriage equality to immigration reform, from equal pay to the DREAM Act. We must strike a balance between needing to protect our nation while protecting liberty at the heart of America.

My Campaign is People Powered!

There is no substitute for the power of grassroots organizing and face-to-face conversations. In my campaign, I have pledged to visit all 58 counties in the state, and throughout my travels I am meeting with local party activists, union organizers, local elected officials and other rank and file leaders and opinion makers throughout California. So while a statewide race may not involve walking precincts, I maintain committed to running a grassroots campaign with a local focus and personal touch that engages supporters and voters from the ground up.

My commitment to grassroots organizing was clear with our on the ground effort at the California Democratic Party Convention that yielded overwhelming majority with 59% of the vote.

Voice support

Supporters:

  • Kristin Beard
  • Rita Xavier, CA
  • Charu Khopkar, CA
  • Michael Trujillo
  • Alonso Gonzalez
  • salvador flores
  • Devin Whitney
  • NELLY POTTER
  • Jose Hernandez, Ph. D
  • Denise Ducheny
...and 301 more.


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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