Committee Assignments: Natural Resources, Budget, and Oversight and Government Reform
Contacts: Legislative Director: Miguel Franco Twitter: @GoCardenas
Experience: Rep. Cardenas served in the California State Assembly from 1996 to 2002. The son of immigrant farm laborers, he was the first latino to represent the San Fernando Valley in the State legislature. As chairman of the Assembly budget committee and a city tax reform panel, he helped institute reforms that made Los Angeles more business-friendly and ushered in the biggest infusion of jobs the Valley had seen in more than five years. He then served on the Los Angeles City Council from 2003 to 2011 implementing gang prevention programs that gained national acclaim. As one of 11 children, Rep. Cardenas has understood from a young age the importance of consensus building and has taken a pragmatic approach to challenges in the State Assembly and the City Council. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and worked briefly for HP before going into the real estate business and pursuing public office.
Importance: As the first Latino to represent the San Fernando Valley in Congress, Rep. Cardenas is a leader among a growing group of Hispanic legislators in Congress. His experience in business along with state and local governance provide him with a unique understanding of how federal policies impact local communities. He describes himself as a pragmatic problem solver who is not particularly interested in party politics. He has invested much of his career finding ways to attract business and provide more opportunities for upward mobility for young students. With seats on Natural Resources, Oversight, and Budget he will be in a good position to evaluate how the US uses its natural resources and how they are deployed to create jobs and fund other valuable social programs.
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