Saturday, May 25, 2024

Openly Gay Latino, John Pérez, Chosen as Next CA Assembly Speaker

Amid record job loss rates, a massive recession and a projected shortfall of more than $20 billion by mid-2011, John Pérez was named on Tuesday the next leader of the California Assembly. Pérez said that he is up to the challenge, and his Democratic colleagues agreed – the 40-year old Los Angeles Assemblyman was unanimously chosen to replace current Speaker Karen Bass.

When discussing the numerous challenges he faces he said, “I think it’s a big task. It’s a task that’s not just laid on one person; it’s laid on the Assembly collectively. And I think with the support of all my colleagues, I’m absolutely up to it.”

Pérez, who is currently in the middle of his first term in office, will be California’s first openly gay Assembly speaker once he formally takes the position after a vote in January.

“I think, in unity, we’re not just talking about the election of a speaker,” Pérez said. “We’re talking about taking California forward, making sure that our collective effort is focused on the economic recovery of this state.”

Pérez gained a great deal of respect this year as the chairman of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, said “He’s fair, he’s inclusive, he’s articulate, he’s focused, he’s a team player, and he’s friends with everybody.”

With a strong background in the labor movement, Pérez has “spent most of his adult life has been around advocating for the middle and working classes,” Art Pulaski, secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation, said. “He’ll bring a lot of experience, smarts and savvy toward doing that as leader of the Assembly.”

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D- San Fransisco, who is also openly gay, said Pérez is a “symbol of hope and inspiration” to people of color and to the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual communities.

Pérez said he will “represent the interests of all people in the state of California,” regardless of sexual orientation.

The Sacramento Bee


  1. Felicidades John!! We support you and our proud!