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Alex Padilla
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U.S. Senator
    (March 22, 1973- )
    Born in Los Angeles, California
    Los Angeles City Council member (1999-2006)
    California State Senator (2006-14)
    California Secretary of State (2015-21)
    Appointed to fill Kamala Harris's Senate seat after Harris became Vice President (January 20, 2021)
    Libertarian types felt that several of the bills he introduced in the State Senate -- including a ban on plastic bags in grocery stores and a requirement for restaurants to print nutritional information on menus -- epitomized the California 'nanny state.'
    After he moved the start of automatic voter registration forward by several months, the rollout was plagued with technical glitches, including the improper registration of 1,500 people, some of whom were not US citizens (2018).
    He awarded a $35 million no-bid contract for a voter education ad campaign to SKDK, a public relations firm with ties to the Democratic Party that described itself as part of 'Team Biden.' (2020)
    Several African-American leaders would have preferred for Harris to be replaced by another black woman, such as Reps. Barbara Lee or Karen Bass, with San Francisco Mayor London Breed calling Padilla's appointment 'a real blow to the African-American community.'
    He said about his parents, who were both immigrants from Mexico, 'Watching them struggle, sacrifice, and work hard to provide our generation with better opportunity, that’s as American dream as it gets.'
    Before going into politics, he wrote software for satellite systems for Hughes Aircraft.
    He was the youngest person elected president of the Los Angeles City Council (2001).
    He and his family were temporarily displaced from their home by the Alison Canyon gas leak (2015-16).
    He was described in an Associated Press profile as 'mannerly [and] soft-spoken.'
    He is the first Hispanic to serve as Senator from California.

Credit: C. Fishel

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