Rob Bonta

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Rob Bonta criticizes President Donald Trump for his stance on illegal immigration on a television network from the Netherlands in April 2017 (Screenshot)

Rob Bonta serves as a Democrat in the California State Assembly, representing the 18th Assembly District.

He is on the board of Filipino Advocates for Justice, which was founded by Lillian Galedo.

He is the son of Warren Bonta and Cynthia Bonta and is married to Mialisa Bonta. He has a sister Lisa Ligaya Bonta Sumii, a psychotherapist in Oakland, California and a brother, Jonathan Marcelo Bonta, who founded and directs the Center for Diversity and the Environment in Portland, Oregon.[1]


Assemblymember Rob Bonta was elected to the California State Assembly's 18th District in 2012, where he represents the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro as the first and only Filipino American legislator in the 165-year history of California.

Rob’s passion for justice and equality was instilled in him at a very young age by his parents, who taught him to understand injustice and the importance of joining the struggle to empower vulnerable communities. His father was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, and stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Deep South---marching for equality and justice in Selma. His mother was and continues to be a long-time leader in the Filipino social justice movement.

His father, Warren, marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, and later was involved, along with wife Cynthia, in the farmworkers movement, collecting petition signatures for the lettuce boycott in 1970 and then taking jobs at the United Farm Workers headquarters in La Paz. It was there that the couple and their three children lived in a trailer 500 yards from Cesar Chavez’s house.[2]

Growing up in a trailer just a few hundred yards from Cesar Chavez’s home, Bonta watched closely as his parents organized Filipino and Mexican American farm workers, infusing his formative years with first-hand experience of one of the greatest peaceful social, racial, and economic justice movements of all time. This had a huge impact on Rob’s life choices and pursuits, inspiring his life’s commitment to helping people.

Rob believed legal training was one of the most powerful ways to effect positive and profound change in the lives of those who needed it most. He worked his way through college cleaning laundry rooms and, with the help of financial aid, was able to achieve his dream of attending some of the best universities in the world, obtaining his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School after attending Yale College and Oxford University in England. Earning honors in college, Rob was also a scholar athlete, captaining the Yale Soccer team. He also paved the way for the advancement of students of color as a mentor and volunteered in support of local children struggling with poverty.

His legal career included work as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he represented the City and County and its employees, and as a private attorney, where he fought to protect Californians from exploitation and racial profiling. Rob was undefeated at trial, never losing a jury verdict for his clients. Prior to being elected to the Alameda City Council, Rob served as the Chair of the City of Alameda’s Economic Development Commission, where he focused on business attraction and retention efforts, and as board president for the Social Service Human Relations Board, where he fought to protect safety net services for the most vulnerable members of the community. As Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda, Bonta strongly supported public safety, fostered economic development, and exercised fiscal responsibility.

Bonta currently serves as the Assistant Majority Leader. He serves on the Appropriations, Communications and Conveyance, Governmental Organization, and Health Committees. He is also chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and serves on the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color.[3]

Fighting for Illegal Immigration Rally January 16 2018

Pramila Jayapal with DACA activists

On January 17 2018, Pramila Jayapal protested with DACA activists from NAKASEC (Dae Joong Yoon Co-Director, Sam Yu Communications Coordinator), Tony Choi, Rob Bonta, Kevin de Leon, UndocuBlack Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), African Communities Together leader and Local 23 President Bert Bayou and others.[4]

From the Facebook Live Video:

"Community members from the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), the UndocuBlack Network (UBN), Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), African Communities Together and UNITE HERE Local 23 will host a timely press conference denouncing President Trump’s racist statements in his meeting with U.S. Senators last week and call for a DREAM Act that leaves family sponsorship and diversity visa programs intact by January 19th, the deadline for the upcoming Continuing Resolution (CR). In addition to impacted community members and community leaders, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC Immigration Subcommittee Chair Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, California State Senate President pro tempore Kevin de Leon and California Assemblymember and Chair of the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus Rob Bonta will participate."


NAKASEC Facebook Live Video January 16 2018

The speakers in the order in which they appeared:

Sister City Yeongdong-gun, South Korea and the City of Alameda

On June 20, 2017 the Alameda City Council "adopted a resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the formulation and implementation of Sister City relations between Yeongdong-gun, South Korea and the City of Alameda."

"The Sister City relationship was formalized during this delegation visit on July 3, 2017, at 10:00 am in City Council Chambers, and included remarks from dignitaries including Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer; Councilmember Jim Oddie, District Director of the Office of Assemblymember Rob Bonta; Hee Jeong Matz, Chairperson of the Yeongdong-gun Sister City Subcommittee; Park Se-bok, Mayor of Yeongdong-gun; and Jeong Chun-taek, County Council Chairperson of Yeongdong-gun.[7]

Farmworkers inspiration


Rob Bonta February 22, 2014 ·

This 1973 photo of Rob Bonta and sister Lisa Bonta with father Warren Bonta was taken at the "United Farm Workers Headquarters in the California Central Valley, where my parents instilled in me a commitment to public service and the desire to fight for working people and members of our most vulnerable communities. #robbonta #teambonta — with Rob Bonta."

Legislation ending Ban on Communists serving in California Government

Rob Bonta drafted legislation that would prevent California state employees from being fired for being a member of the Communist Party.[8],[9]

Van Jones connection


Criticizes President Donald Trump for his stance on international television network

Rob Bonta criticized President Donald Trump for his stance on illegal immigration on a television network from the Netherlands in April 2017.[10]

In a Facebook post[11] describing the broadcast, Rob Bonta writes in part:

"Last month, a television network from the Netherlands interviewed me for a story about the California resistance movement. They wanted to show their viewers why Californians feel compelled to stand up and defend our values in the face of the Trump Administration."

Rob Bonta praises Lillian Galedo on Facebook

Rob Bonta praises Lillian Galedo on Facebook
"So proud to honor Filipino Advocates for Justice on the well-earned retirement of their incredible executive director Lillian Galedo after 37 years. You are my friend and all of our inspiration!"[12]

Filipino Advocates for Justice

Rob Bonta serves on the of Board of Directors for Filipino Advocates for Justice as of March 16, 2010.[13]

Asian American Action Fund supported candidate

In the 2012 election, Rob Bonta was supported by the Asian American Action Fund.[14]

Wilma Chan endorsement

In 2012 Alameda County Supervisor and former Assemblymember Wilma Chan announced she has endorsed Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta for State Assembly in the 18th District.

“All residents of the 18th Assembly District deserve a strong voice in Sacramento,” Chan said. “They share common concerns around schools, healthcare and public safety. Each area of the district also has unique needs such as the development of the former Naval Air Station in Alameda, the threatened closure of San Leandro Hospital and rising violence in Oakland. I believe Rob has the intelligence and skill it will take to navigate Sacramento and address the wide range of issues affecting the district.
“In addition, I believe Rob is best prepared to face the realities of a shrinking state budget without decimating public education and needed services for seniors, disabled and middle class families.”

Bonta was humbled and energized by Chan’s endorsement.

“Supervisor Chan is a legend in the East Bay in her commitment to children and families, and trailblazing accomplishments for Asian Americans and I deeply appreciate her endorsement,” Bonta said. “I am honored and motivated to advocate on behalf of the people and issues for which we share a passion.”

About Wilma Chan

Assemblywoman Wilma Chan served as the first woman Majority Leader of the California State Assembly.

Prior to her election to the Assembly, Ms. Chan was elected twice as the first Asian American to serve on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors after completing a term on the Oakland Board of Education.

She served as the Legislator in Residence at UC Berkeley during the 2006-07 academic years and taught political science on campus for two years. In addition, served for four years on the California Medical Assistance Commission, she has worked on healthcare reform projects in Alameda County, including an expansion of health services at the Peralta Community Colleges. She most recently served as Vice President for Policy at Children Now, a national children’s advocacy organization located in Oakland.[15]

Fundraiser for Bonta

Rob bontop.JPG

Meet Rob Bonta! Leap Forward at the Leap Year Reception

We Invite You and Your Friends to Meet Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta Candidate for State Assembly At a 6:00 – 8:00 PM Leap Year and Reception

Wednesday, February 29, 2012, Mila Llorente and Ernie Llorente Residence, San Francisco, Ca. 92147.

CO-CHAIRS (Partial List)

Viki Bamba, Carmen Colet , Lupita Kashiwahara, Mila Llorente, Vince Agbayani, Jesse Agbayani, Cesar Alegria, Ana Alegria, Wendy Andong , Aida Barrios, Alice Bulos, Jason Chan, Emil de Guzman, Mark Grafilo, Angie Louie, Marily Mondejar, Al Perez, Olga Poblete, Joanne del Rosario, Fely Santiago, Bernadette Sy, Lourdes Tancinco, Lili Tarachand, Anthony Villanueva.

APALA keynote speaker


Keynote speaker Rob Bonta, CA Assemblyman (D-18) at APALA'S 12th Biennial Convention 2013

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance's 12th Biennial Convention was held in sunny Las Vegas, NV from August 14th-18th, 2013 and welcomed nearly 500 attendees ranging from rank and file members to young student leaders.

The convention was a remarkable success as members of the AAPI community from throughout the country came together to form new partnerships, share motivational stories of struggle and success, and develop inspiring new strategies to further the fight for social and economic justice.

External links