John A. Pérez

Fmr. Speaker/Member
CA Assembly/UC Board of Regents

John A. Pérez is the current Chair of the Board of Regents. He was elected to the Assembly in November 2008, representing Downtown Los Angeles and communities of East Los Angeles. In January 2010, his colleagues elected him California's 68th Assembly Speaker. He was subsequently reelected in 2010 and 2012, making him one of the longest serving Speakers in the era of term limits.

Prior to his service in the Assembly, Speaker Emeritus Pérez was a lifetime member of the Labor Movement, eventually serving as the Political Director for the California Labor Federation. His lifetime spent fighting for working families can clearly be seen in the legislation and policy initiatives he pursued in the Assembly. He fought for policies that put people back to work and helped workers on the jobsite.

As Speaker, he brought together his colleagues to end California's era of chronic budget deficits. He worked with Governor Brown and members of the Senate to eliminate the structural deficit that left California's budget imbalanced for more than a decade, and successfully passed back-to-back balanced, on-time budgets that resulted in across the board upgrades in California's credit rating.

He has made affordability and accessibility of higher education one of the most important statewide priorities through passage of the Middle Class Scholarship Act. This effort, which brought together thousands of California's students and parents, sought to reduce student fees by two-thirds for middle class families, and was later adopted in a modified capacity by the 2013 State Budget. The landmark Middle Class Scholarship Act, has provided tuition relief of up to 40 percent for nearly 100,000 California State University and University of California students.

Speaker Emeritus Pérez's victories and accomplishments have received prominent national attention. In 2012, he was the only state legislative leader in the United States to address the Democratic National Convention. In August of 2012, he was elected by fellow Speakers from across the nation to serve as President of the National Speakers Conference. He has previously been appointed by President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Commission on HIV/AIDS and is a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee.