Sacramento, CA–Governor Gavin Newsom Friday swore in Assemblymember Rob Bonta as California’s 34th Attorney General. Bonta is the first Filipino American in the state’s history to serve in the role.
“California and the nation need leaders like Rob Bonta to meet this pivotal moment in our history with the courage, energy, and tenacity it will take to shape a society more reflective of our values,” said Governor Newsom. “Carrying the lessons of his remarkable upbringing at the center of historic social justice movements, Rob has been at the forefront of courageous fights for racial, economic, and environmental justice from day one.”
Confirmed by the Legislature Thursday, Bonta was selected by Newsom to fill the position vacated by Xavier Becerra, who was recently sworn in as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The governor announced the nomination last month at the historic International Hotel in San Francisco, a site where Asian and Pacific Islander Californians famously rallied in 1977 to save the homes of elderly residents and preserve their community.
“There are a lot of challenges we face across America today. People see institutions that work well for those with wealth and power – at the expense of everyone else. We see hate on the rise. And too often, justice and accountability for those who harm others feel out of reach,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “As The People’s Attorney, I won’t back down when I see Californians hurt. Together, we will get justice for families cheated by multinational corporations. We will defend communities ravaged by big polluters.”
The son of activists, Bonta grew up in a trailer in La Paz, where his parents served at the headquarters of the United Farm Workers movement. Inspired to pursue justice through the law, Bonta studied at Yale Law School and went on to work pro-bono protecting vulnerable Californians from exploitation and racial profiling. He served nine years as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office before running for local office in Alameda County. In 2012, Bonta became the first Filipino American in California history to win an election to the Legislature, representing Assembly District 18 in the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro.