Meet Rob Bonta, California's New Attorney General (Launched 2021) (2023)


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Thursday: The position is widely seen as a stepping stone to higher positions. Mister. Bonta will be the first Filipino American to serve in the position. Also: a Covid memorial.

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Meet Rob Bonta, California's New Attorney General (Launched 2021) (2)

Good day

After months of speculation, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced Rob Bonta, a Democratic lawmaker, as his pick as the next attorney general.

“Rob represents what makes California great: our desire to fight fairly and reverse systemic injustices,” Newsom said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Since then, the position has been officially announced.Xavier Becerra has been confirmedlast week as head of President Biden's Department of Health and Human Services, where he will lead the nation's response to the pandemic.

[Read the full storyabout the ad.]

But from the moment the President elected Becerra, the political wheels began to turn.

Bonta is the last of three major governor appointmentsDemocratic power reformin the state, warned by the rise of Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president, in case you forgot, because that was about 10,000 pandemic years ago, used to be the junior senator from California.

In December,Mister. Newsom nominated Senator Alex Padillato replace Vice President Harris, andShirley Weberto replace Lord Padilla as Secretary of State.

Andmy colleague Shawn Hubler reported, Bonta will become the first Filipino American to serve as the state's "police chief" and the second Asian American. (Vice President Harris, of course,It was the first.)

Here are answers to other questions you may have about the ad:

Who is Rob Bonta?

Mister. Bonta is a member of the State Assembly and has represented the East Bay since 2012.

The son of civil rights activists, Bonta, 48, was born in the Philippines and grew up in the Central Valley, where his parents, Cynthia and Warren Bonta, helped organize farmworkers along with César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. The family eventually moved to the Sacramento area.

[read aboutLarry Itliong and the role of Filipinos as farm workersMovement.]

Mister. Bonta graduated from Yale University, where he studied history and law. he and his wifeMy God, who is the CEO of the Alameda Unified School District, met there.

They have three children and live in the East Bay with their dog, Lego.

Bonta, a former San Francisco assistant city attorney, briefly served on the Alameda City Council before running for state assembly.

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Bonta called the job "the honor of his life" in a statement.

"I became a lawyer because I saw the law as the best way to make a difference for the most people," he said.

Why did Mr. Bonta get the job?

The choice of the state's police chief came with complex considerations, especially as Californians increasingly demand comprehensive criminal justice reform.

WhileMister. Becerra was Attorney General, was known for leading the legal opposition to the Trump administration and suing more than 100 times. But he, too, has been criticized for not following through on his promises to hold police accountable for wrongdoing.

Bonta enjoys great credibility among progressives, many of whom applauded her nomination on Wednesday.

“As a member of the State Assembly, Mr. Bonta has campaigned to end cash bail and resolve the conflict of interest that arises when elected prosecutors receive financial and political support from police unions,” said the Alliance of California prosecutors in a statement. "He is a leader who has dedicated his career to protecting and empowering vulnerable communities."

[Read how the summer proteststriggered a "tsunami of change."]

The group of"Reformist" Promoterswas formed last year and includes Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, whose election last year was abig win for progressive activists.

Mister. Bonta is also Asian-American and was backed by a coalition of lawmakers that asked Newsom to pick an Asian or Pacific Islander: a phone callthat have acquired special urgencyfollowing the deaths of eight people last week at Atlanta-area spas, including six women of Asian descent.

“At a time when our communities are facing hate and disturbing patterns of violence, this sends a strong signal,” David Chiu, the state legislator who heads the prosecutor's office, said in a statement Wednesday.

Who else has been nominated?

As with the dispute over Mrs. Harris's successor in the Senate, the field eventually narrowed down to three leading candidates.

Along with Bonta, Rep. Adam Schiff, with the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sought the position. Darrell Steinberg, mayor of Sacramento, was also in the running.

Both issued statements Wednesday congratulating Bonta.

Observers noted Newsom's penchant for historic political appointments; Padilla is the first Latina senator from California and Weber the first black woman to serve as California Secretary of State.

What powers does the Attorney General have?

The position is not only a stepping stone to higher office (alumni include Vice President Harris and former Governor Jerry Brown), it is also a far-reaching position. And the Attorney General has plenty of leeway to set his own agenda.

[Read more aboutthe power of the attorney general.]

Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside, who discussed the state APIA with Mr. Bonta. Matters, he told me that Mr. Bonta "has been a great advocate for immigrant rights."

pushed for moreTransparency in the application of the lawabout his work with federal immigration authorities and his effort to better collect data on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, information advocates say is critical to addressing hate crimes and cases of discrimination.

Mister. Ramakrishnan said that he believes that Mr. Bonta has an opportunity to continue this work.

“I think we have an opportunity to see how he would innovate in the role of Attorney General,” he said.

In what political situation does Mr. Bonta intervene?

good like uscalled, considerable effort is being made for Mr. News.

In addition to naming an attorney general who he believes can win the 2022 state election, Newsom needs a progressive ally.

Furthermore, Ramakrishnan said that 2020 turned out to be a record number of Asian-American voters. Bonta could capitalize on that enthusiasm among Asian-American communities that have long been underrepresented in politics. This is especially true for California.

[This is what you should knowto the revocation election procedure.]

(This article is part of thecalifornia hoyNewsletter.Recordto receive it in your inbox).

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Lovato recently said that she is "sober in California." Because what does that mean? [Eastern Time]

And finally...


There have been many attempts over the past year to point out the alarming scale of casualties from the pandemic. one is theMonument to Rio Rosa, which is part of a traveling exhibit that will eventually become part of a larger exhibit in Washington.

The display at Christ Cathedral, sponsored by the OC Autism Foundation, consists of 4,600 felt roses, symbolizing the deaths of Orange County residents from Covid-19.

California Today airs Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m. m., Pacific time. Tell us what you would like to Was it forwarded to this email?Sign up for California Today heremiRead all the issues online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has covered the entire state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles, but she always wants to see more. Follow here or moreGore.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.


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