I grew up in Watts, where my parents raised me to know the importance of faith, a good education, and most critically, the importance of giving back to your community. Both of my parents only had a high school education; my father was a truck driver and a union president, and my mother cleaned rich people’s homes as a domestic worker. I grew up with humble roots and a beginning in life with no free passes, but worked extremely hard to make my parents proud.
Before my election to the Assembly, I was a Carson City Council Member and local police officer and led local nonprofits to help at-risk youth stay engaged in school and off the streets. I also previously served as the lead community organizer for the United Teachers of Los Angeles to protect teachers and parents and prepare LA’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.
I served almost 10 years on the City Council, where I fought to protect union jobs, make public safety a priority and balance the city budget — and not on the backs of working men and women who serve the city every day. I fought to ensure that employees can not only work in the city, but also afford to live in the city that they work and serve. I took a pay cut to help balance the city budget and protect funding for essential local services. When I left the City Council, we had one of the largest budget surpluses in the city’s history.
I’ve had the privilege of representing the 65th District (previously the 64th District) in the California State Assembly since 2014. From 2016 to 2023, I also served as Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair.
In the Assembly, I have championed a wide variety of issues, authoring laws that have improved the quality of education, expanded access to healthcare, addressed homelessness, and enacted sensible criminal justice reform. I’ve fought the NRA to create strong protections in this state for sensible gun legislation, and as a former police officer, I’ve led the charge on strong police reform in this state, policies that other states are now following.
I live in Carson with my wife Le Cresha. We have two sons, Devon and Jordan, and our 3rd son D’Ancee was killed at 3 years old as a victim of a hit-and-run motorist who has never been captured. I also have 3 beautiful biracial grandchildren, Faafetai Ole Alofa, and Cataleya Acevedo Gipson and Amore.