|Member of the California Senate
from the 20th district
December 4, 2006
|Preceded by||Richard Alarcón|
|Los Angeles City Councilor from the 7th District|
July 1, 1999 – December 4, 2006
|Preceded by||Richard Alarcón|
|Succeeded by||Richard Alarcón|
|President of the
Los Angeles City Council
July 4, 2001 – January 1, 2006
|Preceded by||Ruth Galanter|
|Succeeded by||Eric Garcetti|
March 22, 1973 |
Panorama City, California
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S.)|
|Website||Senator Alex Padilla|
Alejandro "Alex" Padilla (born March 22, 1973) is a California State Senator. He was elected as the state senator for California's 20th State Senate district in November 2006 and was inaugurated in early December. Prior to serving in the Senate he served 7½ years on the Los Angeles City Council representing the 7th District. First elected in 1999, he was elected council president in July 2001 and remained president through December 31, 2005.
Padilla grew up in the community of Pacoima in Los Angeles and is a graduate of San Fernando High School in the northeast San Fernando Valley. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. After graduation, he moved back to Pacoima and briefly worked as an engineer for Hughes Aircraft, where he wrote software for satellite systems.
Padilla is a member of the governing board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) which has a membership of more than 6,000 Latino officials in the United States. He has served as president of the League of California Cities and was both its youngest-ever president and the first Latino to lead the league. He currently serves as chair of the Los Angeles Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association. Padilla previously was a staff member to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein and California State Assembly member Tony Cardenas.
City Council service 
On July 1, 1999 at the age of 26, Alex Padilla was sworn in as a member of the Los Angeles City Council. Just two years later his council colleagues elected him council president. Alex was not only the first Latino, but the youngest person ever elected President of the Los Angeles City Council. Alex is often asked how he moved from engineering to politics. He explains that in many ways they are similar; the goal of each is solving problems. As Los Angeles City Council President, Alex provided citywide leadership at critical times. He was Acting Mayor of Los Angeles during the tragedy of September 11th. With a steady voice and calm manner, he led the city and reassured a very uncertain public. He also played a key role in the hiring of then-Police Chief William Bratton. His leadership was evident in the development of L.A. LIVE and the modernization of Los Angeles International Airport. In addition to his role as council president, Alex also led California’s 478 cities as the first Latino President of the League of California Cities.
State Senate service 
Alex Padilla was elected to the State Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. He won nearly 70% of the vote in a district with just 54% Democratic registration, confirming his broad appeal. Padilla quickly established himself as a thoughtful and effective legislator. His legislative record is diverse and groundbreaking.
Focusing on the growing rates of diabetes and obesity, Padilla authored the law that made California the first state in the nation to require chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. Despite strong initial opposition from industry and then-Governor Schwarzenegger, Alex was persistent, built consensus, negotiated a compromise and prevailed. Menu-labeling was later incorporated into the Affordable Healthcare Act and is now national policy.
Alex has been a leader in the area of public health. He wrote California’s first smoke-free housing law and increased enforcement and penalties for illegal tobacco sales to minors. He also authored the law that banned caffeine-spiked alcoholic beverages like 4LOKO in California. To protect patients from being exposed to excess radiation he established new safety and reporting standards at California medical facilities. And, he established a reliable funding stream to establish pediatric trauma care centers throughout our state.
When he learned that thousands of cell phones were being smuggled into our prisons and used to direct criminal gang activity in our communities, Alex led efforts to stop it. He wrote the law that criminalizes the transfer, sale or possession of illicit cell phones in prison. He also wrote the law that prohibits violent felons from possessing, buying or transferring body armor.
California educates 1.5 million English Learners which accounts for a quarter of the K-12 population. Forty percent of California kindergarteners are English Learners. Unfortunately, just 11% of English Learners are reclassified Fluent English Proficient each year. Alex is working to address California’s poor performance and help more students become fluent in English and realize greater academic success.
Alex also understood that the academic dreams of students were being crushed by an inconsistent college transfer process, so he authored the law that created a clear and certain pathway for community college students seeking to transfer to the California State University system. While this had been a goal in higher education for 30 years, it was Alex who was able to bring together competing factions and get it done - fundamentally reforming higher education in California. Also in higher education, Alex authored the bill requiring California’s elite Pac-12 Conference sports programs to provide alternative scholarships to student-athletes who lose their athletic scholarships due to injury.
With the goal of creating more than 20,000 jobs, he authored pivotal legislation that facilitates the construction of a new convention center and a new carbon-neutral NFL football stadium in downtown Los Angeles. With the goal of modernizing and better managing freight and passenger rail service between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, he wrote the law that establishes a joint powers authority for our nation’s second busiest rail corridor.
Alex is committed to the promise of science and advanced technology. To allay fears of how genomics will be used in our society, Alex expanded the civil rights of every Californian when he wrote the California Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act. To reduce fatalities and injuries on our roads and highways, he wrote the law that establishes safety and performance standards for autonomous vehicles. In October 2012, he joined Sergey Brin and Governor Brown as his driverless car bill was signed into law at Google headquarters. Working with seismologists at Caltech, UC Berkeley, and the U.S. Geological Survey, Alex announced in January his plans to create a statewide Earthquake Early Warning System in our quake prone state. Editorial boards throughout the state quickly endorsed the idea. He was named the 2012 “Tech Champion” by TechNet, Silicon Valley’s leading trade group; and “2012 Legislator of the Year” by Tech America.
Meanwhile, Alex is using his chairmanship of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee to address global warming and create a greener more sustainable economy. He has pursued an ambitious agenda in the areas of renewable energy, smart grid and broadband deployment. Alex wrote the law that made California the first state in the nation to require statewide smart grid deployment plans which is improving both grid stability and energy efficiency. He has also led efforts to improve air quality and water efficiency.
Alex also serves as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Business and Professions and Economic Development Committee, Governmental Organization Committee, Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, and Chairs the Select Committee on Science, Innovation and Public Policy.
Gavin Newsom's Gubernatorial Campaign 
- Hymon, Steve (May 7, 2006). "Sons Live Out a Dream". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Roderick, Kevin (July 2002). "Power Play in East Valley". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Benefiel, Anna K. (August 4, 1999). "Recent MIT Graduate Elected to Los Angeles City Council". The Tech. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Downing, Eve (Winter 2000). "Coming Home". MIT Spectrum. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Whitaker, Barbara (July 7, 2001). "PUBLIC LIVES; A Quick Climb Up the Los Angeles Political Ladder". The New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- Fox, Sue (July 4, 2001). "Former Engineer Rocketed to the Top". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- "Newsom names lawmaker to chair gubernatorial bid" By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer July 15, 2009, The Chronicle
- Secretary of State Campaign website
- Official State Senate website
- State Senate campaign website
- Padilla profile at JoinCalifornia.com
- Senator Padilla's official YouTube channel
|Los Angeles City Councilman
|California State Senator
2006 – present