John A. Pérez has dedicated his career to bridging political differences and advancing commonsense solutions that move California forward. Whether fighting to create and protect jobs, improving access to decent and affordable health care, or making state government more accountable to all Californians, John has built a solid record serving the needs of working families in his district and throughout California.
John was first elected to the State Assembly in 2008, and became the nation's first openly gay Speaker when he was selected to lead the California Assembly in 2010.
John’s work in the State Assembly has focused on:
- Protecting Jobs. When then-Governor Schwarzenegger tried to eliminate state support for child care, John restored funding that provides child care services to working parents and saved the jobs of child care workers throughout the state.
- Improving Access to Affordable Health Care. Authored legislation that created the California Health Benefits Exchange, the first in the nation, which gives individuals and small businesses access to the same insurance choices and cost savings that previously were available only to large companies.
- Forging Solutions to Address State Needs. Worked with environmentalists, unions and business leaders to pass legislation that paves the way for a new football stadium in Los Angeles and 23,000 new jobs. Helped forge a compromise with Amazon that will require the online retailer to collect millions in legally owed sales taxes beginning in 2013.
- Cleaning Up Maywood’s Drinking Water. Helped pass legislation to clean up Maywood’s contaminated drinking water, by requiring local water companies to improve their cleaning methods and report annually on their progress.
- Tackling Corruption in Vernon. Despite steadfast resistance from deep-pocketed special interests locally and in Sacramento, fought to end corruption in Vernon, a city of 96 residents where city leaders manage a fiefdom that is lacking public accountability and has a decades-long history of financial abuses and convictions for criminal offenses including fraud.
- Improved Access to Healthful Foods. John authored a new law that will increase access to healthy and nutritious foods in urban and rural communities, paving the way for new stores, more jobs and better food choices for residents of low-income neighborhoods throughout California.
John has also worked hard to protect the needs of everyday Californians in the face of tens of billions in state deficits and a national economic recession. He has prevented across the board cuts in the state budget that would have decimated vital services to the elderly and low-income Californians. John’s commitment to working families has paid dividends to his party: at a time of significant electoral losses nationwide, California Democrats have made gains in the Assembly under John’s leadership.
Growing up in the working class communities of El Sereno and Highland Park, John’s parents taught him the value of hard work and community service. After attending the University of California at Berkeley, he became active in the labor movement, where he spent over 15 years working to create jobs, expand health care and protect workers’ rights. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, John served as political director for the California Labor Federation, director of the Western States Council for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and political director for UFCW Local 324.
As Speaker, John is providing the leadership, experience and commitment we need to fix Sacramento and create a better economic future for California.