Alex Padilla was first elected to serve in the California Senate in 2006. On December 6th, 2010, Padilla was sworn in to serve a second four-year term representing the 20th Senate District. He won nearly 70 percent of the vote in a district that has only 54 percent Democratic registration, confirming his broad appeal.
Since being elected to the Senate, Padilla has established himself as a tenacious and effective legislator. He has won legislative approval for 93 bills, 80 of which have been signed into law by the Governor.
Alex Padilla’s work as a Senator represents 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 developing 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. Today he serves as a member of the board of trustees for the M.I.T. Corporation, the Institute’s governing body. Padilla also serves as President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). 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, 40, 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.
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