Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon, a Los Angeles native, was elected in 2012 and represents the 62nd Assembly District in Southeast Los Angeles County. His district includes nine cities: Bellflower, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, South Gate, and Walnut Park.
The son of working-class parents and grandson of Mexican immigrants, Rendon was far from a high achieving student, once carrying a grade point average of 0.83 and nearly flunking out of high school.
After graduating, Rendon worked in warehouses and other manual labor jobs and pursued higher education. He attended Cerritos Community College and went on to earn his Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees from California State University, Fullerton. As a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Rendon earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and completed post-doctoral work at Boston University.
Prior to serving in the Assembly, Rendon worked as an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist. He led Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services, Inc. as executive director. Plaza provides comprehensive child development and social and medical services to over 2,300 children and families through its 35 child development centers throughout Los Angeles County. Before working at Plaza, Rendon served as the interim executive director of the California League of Conservation Voters from 2008 to 2009.
Rendon was first motivated to run for public office by his experience in early childhood education. Massive budget cuts made by the Schwarzenegger Administration spurred him to lobby for restored funding. When he was unsuccessful, he became determined to fight for kids more directly in the legislature.
During his first term in the Assembly, Rendon authored Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion state water bond which voters passed by a 67% to 33% margin in the November 2014 election. During the bond development process, Rendon took input from residents over the course of 18 public hearings throughout the state, resulting in a measure with no earmarks or backroom deals.
In 2015, Rendon authored Assembly Bill 530, a law that spurs much-needed revitalization of the lower portion of the Los Angeles River. As chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, he led ongoing efforts to ensure accountability at the California Public Utilities Commission.
Rendon became the 70th speaker of the Assembly on March 7, 2016, ushering in a new era of a decentralized speakership and member empowerment.
"I want to help each of you achieve the best and the most for the people you represent," Rendon told his colleagues in his inaugural address. "We won't always agree on issues or approaches, but I believe everyone here deserves an environment where they can advocate forcefully for their ideas and their constituents."
While continuing to advocate for the needs of his constituents, as speaker, Rendon has forgone authoring legislation in favor of pushing for broad policy goals to help all Californians and in devoting time to the success of his colleagues in the Assembly.
In Rendon's first year as speaker, the Assembly passed landmark progressive legislation, including the nation's first statewide $15 minimum wage, overtime pay for farmworkers, and groundbreaking policies on gun and tobacco use. The first state budget passed during Rendon's tenure continued California's recent history of timely, balanced budgets, doubling the state rainy day fund, and investing $530 million in early childhood education, a key victory for Rendon and the Legislative Women's Caucus.
In the 2017-18 legislative session, Rendon led the Assembly in passing a landmark $52 billion transportation funding plan, an extension of California's cap-and-trade program -- a first-of-its-kind clean air measure -- and efforts to address the affordable housing crisis. The Assembly also approved legislation to end the cash bail system that for decades disproportionally impacted poor Californians and people of color. State budgets continued to build on fiscal reserves, expand the earned income tax credit and child care eligibility, make record investments in education, and implement governance reforms to the Board of Equalization and University of California.
Under Rendon's leadership in 2019, the Assembly conducted one of the most progressive and productive legislative sessions in memory. Among the Assembly's recent accomplishments are the historic changes to law enforcement use of force rules, expanded worker protections, and restrictions on predatory lending.
In 2020, Rendon led the Assembly in addressing the COVID-19 crisis in California. Under his leadership, the legislature passed critical legislation to address the health and economic crises of the pandemic, including multiple eviction moratoriums, legislation to support families and small businesses, and more.
Rendon currently resides in Lakewood with his wife Annie and daughter, Vienna.