California Educator

March 2016

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What did you do before becoming a lawmaker in 2012? I worked in the nonprofit sector for over two decades oper- ating early childhood education, gang reduction, and other community-based programs. What led you to run for office? As a nonprofit executive, I regularly interacted with elected officials to advocate for funding of the programs I managed. Though a valuable experience, it was oen a frustrating one, particularly in the depths of the Great Recession, when over a billion dollars was slashed from early childhood education programs. I felt that the Legislature needed a voice that under- stood those issues and would fight for them. Who was the teacher who had the greatest impact on you? What key learning did you take with you from your contact with that teacher? My 12th-grade government teacher, Ms. McCauley, at Califor- nia High School in Whittier exposed me to a world I previously hadn't thought much about. Little did I know one day I would be practicing all that she taught! What steps should the Legislature take to help schools succeed? When we help teachers succeed, students succeed. That means supporting teachers with the training and tools they need, including school facilities that accommodate learning and technology in the classroom that keeps up with the mod- ern world. What are your goals for public education? California's public schools have long been a bridge toward upward mobility for our youth. Moving forward, we must com- mit to connecting our education system to the jobs of today and teaching the skills that prepare students for success in the workforce and in life. What advice would you give educators about working with legislators? Many of the things we work on in Sacramento can feel abstract. Your message is most effective when it relates back to the com- munities we represent. Rather than referencing acronyms and overly technical policy language, talk about how the policies we cra in Sacramento touch our constituents on a human level. Describe how it impacts our neighbors' kids and the schools in our communities. Meet Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon By LEN FELDMAN A S S E M B L Y M E M B E R Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) officially becomes the new speaker of the Assembly on March 7. He rep- resents the 63rd Assembly District, which includes Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, South Gate, and a northern portion of Long Beach. Now in his second term, Rendon has focused on issues includ- ing clean water, open government and early childhood education. He led the powerful Utilities and Commerce Committee, dealing with utility companies seeking to shape SB 350's mandate that half of California's electricity come from renewable sources by 2030. He played a key role in crafting a $7.5 billion water bond in 2014 that ultimately won voter approval, and carried a bill that will ban lead bullets in California as of 2019. Prior to serving in the Assembly, he was executive director of Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services, an agency providing comprehensive child development and social and medical services to over 2,300 children and families. He was an adjunct professor in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Department at CSU Fullerton from 2001 to 2008. Rendon earned his bachelor's and master of arts degrees from CSU Fullerton. He received a National Endowment for the Human- ities fellowship and earned his Ph.D. in political science from UC Riverside, with postdoctoral work at Boston University. Rendon is the fifth Latino to serve as speaker. He and his wife, Annie, live in Paramount.

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