Alex Padilla is the proud son of immigrants.
For forty years, his father worked as a short-order cook and his mother cleaned houses. With their hard work as an example, Alex attended local public schools and went on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
In 1999, at 26, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent the community where he grew up.
In 2001, his colleagues elected him to the first of three terms as Council President, the youngest member and first Latino to serve in this capacity.
In 2006, Alex was elected to the California State Senate, where he chaired the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications; and the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments.
Over the course of eight years, he successfully authored legislation on telecommunications, broadband deployment, energy and energy efficiency, grid modernization, education, job creation, environmental protection, food safety, seismic safety, and a host of other issues.
In 2015, Alex was sworn in as California Secretary of State. In this role, he is committed to modernizing the office, increasing voter registration and participation, and protecting voting rights.
Since taking office, Alex Padilla has made remarkable strides in making it more convenient for eligible Californians to register and vote.
- He has aggressively promoted online voter registration, which resulted in two million new voters added to the rolls since he took office.
- In 2015, Secretary Padilla sponsored the New Motor Voter Act, which calls for automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Scheduled to launch in April of 2018, this will add millions of eligible Californians to the voter rolls in the coming years.
- In 2016, Secretary Padilla sponsored the Voters Choice Act which affords California voters more options of where, when, and how to vote through more vote-by-mail, in-person early voting, and a new vote center model that gives voters the option of voting at any location in their county. The first five counties will transition to the Voters Choice Act in 2018.
- In 2017, Secretary Padilla launched online pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds so that they can vote as soon as they turn 18.
- Fall of 2016, he certified VoteCal, California’s new statewide voter registration database, and secured funding to modernize and launch a new Cal-ACCESS database in 2019 to track campaign financing.
- During this past legislative session, Alex sponsored legislation that will move the primary election to March, giving Californians a bigger say in nominating candidates for President.
- Alex Padilla has also been on the front lines defending the right to vote against attacks at the national level. He has refused to provide California voters’ personal information to the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was created by President Trump after falsely claiming massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.
Alex is also past President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and former member of the MIT Corporation (Board of Trustees). He and his wife Angela live in the San Fernando Valley with their three sons.