Assemblyman Anthony Rendon will be sworn in as speaker of the state Assembly in Sacramento Monday, then outline three of his legislative priorities — poverty, legislative oversight and voter engagement.
Rendon, a Democrat representing a district in south Los Angeles County, will also use the remarks following his swearing-in by outgoing Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego to share his and his wife’s life stories, how they were affected by the generosity of California and “why we need to continue that generosity for generations to come,” an aide told City News Service.
Rendon, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2012, was selected in September by his fellow Democrats to be speaker and elected as the 70th speaker on Jan. 11.
Because of a change to the state’s term limits law allowing legislators to serve in the same house for 12 years — the previous term limit for the Assembly was six years — Rendon can serve as speaker until 2024. If he remains speaker that long, he would have the longest tenure since Willie Brown’s record 14 1/2 years, ending in 1995.
“The role of the speaker in an era when members can serve up to 12 years is to maximize that potential by helping members develop greater expertise, pursue longer-term policy strategies, and perform more vital oversight,” Rendon said following his election as speaker. “In doing so, the speaker enables all members with the tools and opportunities to better represent our constituents in the work we have before us.”
Rendon said his goals as speaker include reducing the high rate of poverty among the state’s children and giving them “infinite opportunities … including the kind of life-changing public education experience that I had,” making California a state that “engages residents in its democracy again” and has “a safe environment, clean air, and clean water that lets families, communities and businesses thrive.”
Rendon, who turned 48 on Friday, was born in Silver Lake and raised in Montebello, Whittier and northern Orange County, graduating from California High School in Whittier. He attended Cerritos College and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State Fullerton and a doctorate from UC Riverside in esthetic and political theory.
Before being elected to the Assembly, Rendon was interim executive director of the California League of Conservation Voters; executive director of Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services Inc., which provides comprehensive child development and social and medical services to more than 2,300 children and families through the organization’s 35 child development centers throughout Los Angeles County.
Rendon was also an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Cal State Fullerton.
— City News Service
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