who is senator Alex Padilla ?
Alex Padilla (Democratic Party) is a member of the U.S. Senate from California. He assumed office on January 20, 2021. His current term ends on January 3, 2023.
Padilla (Democratic Party) is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate to represent California. He declared candidacy for the primary scheduled on June 7, 2022.
On December 22, 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed Padilla to fill the U.S. Senate vacancy created by Sen. Kamala Harris becoming vice president of the United States. He was sworn in on January 20, 2021. Padilla will serve the remaining two years of Harris’ term.
Padilla previously served as the California Secretary of State. He was first elected in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. He left office on January 18, 2021, in order to be sworn in as a member of the United States Senate.
Padilla is a former Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing District 20 from 2006-2014. He was ineligible to run for re-election in 2014.
Prior to serving in the California Senate, Padilla was on the Los Angeles City Council from 1999-2006, serving as its president from 2001-2006.
Senator Padilla demonstrated leadership on a broad range of issues such as:
- Improved fire safety and preparedness in mobile home parks
- prohibited violent felons from possessing body armor
- eliminated phones from California prisons
- reduced music and movie piracy by verifying that large-scale disc replicating plants are complying with state anti-piracy laws
- fought California’s obesity epidemic, by authoring menu labeling legislation which made California the first state in the nation to require chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards
- established protocols and safeguards to protect patients from being exposed to excess radiation during CT scans
- expanded the availability of pediatric trauma care
- required that all restaurant employees be trained and certified in proper food handling
- cracked down on illegal tobacco sales to minors
- expanded the availability of smoke-free housing
- restricted the import, production, and sale of caffeinated beer beverages at retail locations throughout the state
Padilla is pro-choice, saying in 2018 that abortion rights are “not negotiable”. In 2018, after winning the primary for secretary of state to seek a second term, he received the support of the pro-choice organization NARAL Pro-Choice America, which called Padilla a “statewide reproductive freedom champion”. In 2008, Padilla sponsored the bill SB 1770, which would require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) to prepare relevant guidelines and mechanisms for the investigation and reporting of “cases involving anti-reproductive-rights crimes”.
- created a clear and certain pathway for Community College students seeking to transfer to the California State University system
- addressed significant barriers to students becoming proficient in English
Green Energy & Technology
- created more green jobs
- expanded the use of renewable energy sources in the state
- allowed autonomous vehicles on California roads and highways
- required California to develop and build a statewide earthquake early warning system
- improved water efficiency standards in commercial and residential buildings
- expanded California recycling programs
- mandated that the California Air Resources Board do everything feasible to improve California’s air quality
- phased out single-use plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies and liquor stores
- protected consumers who trade-in a vehicle when buying a car
- provided broadband service to underserved areas in California
- protected Californians by prohibiting discrimination based on genetic information
- required Covered California and other government agencies to offer voter registration services
- authorized elections officials to ensure that California emergency workers responding to disaster relief efforts outside the state can vote
Senator Padilla served as Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. He also served on the Appropriations Committee; the Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee; the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee; the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee; and the Governmental Organization Committee. He Chaired the Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Public Policy, and was Vice-Chair of the Select Committee on the California Wine Industry.
Alex Padilla’s work as a Senator represented the logical next chapter in an already impressive story as a public official in California. Born to immigrant parents from Mexico, he was raised in the San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima where he excelled in local public schools. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After a stint working for Hughes Aircraft and completing the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, Padilla went to work for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and later, then-Assemblymember Tony Cardenas before running for public office.
Alex Padilla was first elected to public office in 1999, when at the age of 26 he ran for Los Angeles City Council. Just two years later, in July of 2001, his council colleagues elected him council president. Padilla was not only the first Latino, but the youngest person ever elected city council president. He was unanimously re-elected twice and served as council president of America’s second largest city for 4 ½ years. He stepped down as council president on January 1, 2006 when he launched his campaign for the State Senate.
As city council president, Alex Padilla provided citywide leadership at critical times – most notably, serving as Acting Mayor of Los Angeles during the tragedy of September 11. He also played a critical role in the interview and hiring process of William Bratton as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and developed a plan to redesign the Los Angeles International Airport.
In his council district he is well known for being personally involved in the delivery of new libraries, a new fire station, and the first new area police division built in the city since 1978, while pursuing additional improvements and even showing up on construction sites to push contractors to stay on schedule and on budget. He was also involved in upgrading basic district infrastructure including parks, streets, sidewalks, and streetlights that impact the quality of life in neighborhoods.
His leadership abilities did not go unnoticed. Padilla serves as President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). He served as a member of the board of trustees for the M.I.T. Corporation from 2009 - 2014, the Institute’s governing body. From 2005 – 2006 he led California’s 478 cities as the first Latino President of the League of California Cities. His service with the League of California Cities provided him unique opportunities to participate in negotiations on statewide issues. He served as Chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council of the American Diabetes Association from 2006-2007. He also serves as an Advisory Board Member of Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND), the largest poverty agency in the Valley serving over 30,000 individuals per month.
As a member of the Senate, Alex Padilla, 41, proudly represents more than 1,100,000 residents of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. He lives with his wife Angela and their two sons in the San Fernando Valley.
Senator Padilla was elected as California Secretary of State in 2014.