SACRAMENTO – At a ceremony inside the Assembly chamber Monday, surrounded by family, friends and dignitaries from around the state, Assemblymember Anthony Rendon was sworn in as the 70th Speaker of the California State Assembly.
Rendon (D-Paramount) took the oath of office alongside his wife, Annie Lam, and his parents Tom and Gloria Rendon. The 69th Speaker of the Assembly, Assemblymember Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), performed the oath.
In his swearing-in remarks, Rendon pledged to focus on the issues of poverty, oversight and participation, saying it is "unacceptable for almost 2.5 million children to be living in poverty in California," that state agencies – including the Legislature – must be accountable to Californians, and that more Californians should take part in the political process, especially in communities with great needs.
Rendon, who authored the state’s water bond in 2014, noted he would not be authoring legislation this year, but would focus on managing the Assembly and “fighting for the needs of my district and for what I believe in.”
Rendon acknowledged Republican Leader Chad Mayes for his devotion to California and the “constructive discussions” they have had, and said that while Democrats and Republicans may not always agree on issues, “everyone here deserves an environment where they can advocate forcefully for their ideas and their constituents.”
Sharing their personal stories, Rendon said he and his spouse, the daughter of immigrants, “benefited from the generosity of a state that promised to never turn its back on us—and it never did,” and urged his colleagues to use the years they have in the Assembly “to pay California back for all that it has provided.”
Rendon described how he would ride the bus home from warehouse jobs and watch others get off the bus to head to their college classes, and how his spouse, growing up, worked picking fruit in the fields.
“Today, I raised my hand to take the oath to serve as Speaker. Maybe one day that oath will be taken by some other Californian, who, right now, is riding home on a bus or picking fruit in a field. Someone who will benefit from the work we do to enable them, believe in them, and invest in them.”
Prior to serving in the Assembly, Rendon was an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist.
Rendon attended Cerritos College in Norwalk before earning his Bachelors and Masters of Arts Degrees from California State University, Fullerton. As a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and completed post-doctoral work at Boston University.
Rendon served as adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at California State University, Fullerton from 2001 to 2008.