(Sept. 22) Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, traces his interest in public service to some formative early years living in a trailer in La Paz, the headquarters of the United Farm Workers. Bonta's parents were organizers who worked with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta; his father set up a healthcare clinic for farm laborers.
"They were always activists who fought for social justice, and I always knew I would be involved in public service in some level," Bonta said.
Bonta was known as an outstanding soccer player in his day, winning honors that included captaining the Yale squad and being named All New England, but he has another superlative to his name: first Filipino-American state legislator in the history of California. He took the oath of office while clad in a traditional formal garment called a barong tagalog.
"The Filipino-American community can have a voice," Bonta said, "someone they can claim as their own."
The 2013-2014 Legislature features the largest freshman class in decades. In this recurring series, Insider Edition helps get you acquainted with the influx of newcomers.