A native of Pacoima, in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Tony Cárdenas represents his family and the people he grew up with. First elected to public office in 1996, Tony was the first Latino to represent the Valley in California’s State Legislature. His parents, first-generation Americans, watched as their son raised his right hand and promised to represent his home.
Cárdenas started strong, tackling the issues most important to people in the San Fernando Valley. He rose to Chairman of the powerful State Budget Committee, as well as the City Tax Reform panel. He used experiences a small businessman to create reforms that made Los Angeles more business friendly. Cutting through red tape and working across the aisle, he helped create the largest number of jobs seen by the Valley in more than five years.
When he left Sacramento for good, Tony turned his eyes toward his home. Empowering the people of the Valley and creating good, middle-class jobs for the people he saw everyday, Cárdenas was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, serving ten years. He passed landmark legislation to prevent kids from joining gangs and founded the first Animal Cruelty Task Force in LA history, protecting animals affected by violence and bringing their abusers to justice.
Now, in Congress, the same goals that drove Tony Cárdenas in Sacramento and the city chambers of Los Angeles will focus his work in Washington. As a middle-class business owner, with 11 brothers and sisters, Tony will work hard to solve the critical problems that face our nation and to build coalitions and consensus in a government that has left many Americans behind. He will work hard to rebuild the middle class, bring those in the shadows of our nation into the light and to create the next wave of American innovation that will supercharge our economy.
Most importantly, after each session of Congress, Cárdenas returns home, to the Valley, to the people who chose him as their representative. After graduating UC Santa Barbara, Cardenas still calls Pacoima home, a home where he still resides with his wife, Norma, and their children.
Cárdenas lives and breathes the middle-class values of the communities he represents. With eleven brothers and sisters, he learned early how to solve problems and build consensus. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Cardenas returned to the San Fernando Valley where he still resides with his wife, Norma, and their children.