As the Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Assemblymember Mendoza fights for the Hispanic people and their communal needs every day.
As a young man living in a single parent home, he witnessed firsthand the struggles of working families and the opportunities that a good education can provide for a first generation American in a low-income household.
Mendoza was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. He enrolled at California State University, Long Beach where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science: Public Administration, later earning his Multiple Subject Bilingual Teaching Credential at California State University, Los Angeles.
For more than 10 years, Mendoza taught elementary school in East Los Angeles while serving as a member of the board of directors of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). He was also a representative with the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).
His eagerness to help others motivated him to run for public office and allowed him to win a seat on the Artesia City Council. In 1997, Mendoza became the youngest and first Latino member of the Artesia City Council and youngest to serve as the city’s Mayor at the age of 26.
After three successful terms on the city council and teaching for 10 years, Mendoza decided he could best serve fellow educators, parents, and the community by running for State Assembly. In 2006, he won a seat in the Assembly and continues to serve the 56th district and its constituents with community workshops benefitting parents, low income households, the environment and area schools.
Assemblymember Mendoza’s legislative career has resulted in multiple bills he authored being signed by the Governor and adopted into law. His bill AB 97 made California the first state in the nation to ban the use of Trans Fats—the health-deteriorating food ingredient—in restaurants. His parenting education legislation, AB 1291, passed in 2010 allows judges to sentence the parents of children with first-time gang offenses to anti-gang parenting education classes to prevent further involvement in the gang-related lifestyle and its activities.
Mendoza serves as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and is currently running for California State Senate. He lives in Artesia with his wife, Leticia, their three daughters and their son.