Who is Rob Bonta - California's first Filipino Attorney General: Biography, Career, Family and Personal Life
Who is Rob Bonta - California's first Filipino Attorney General: Biography, Career, Family and Personal Life

Who is Rob Bonta - Biography and Personal Life

If approved by the Legislature, Bonta, 48, will be the state's first Filipino attorney general. Becerra's post was vacated after he was recently confirmed as the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary.

Elected officials from California's Asian and Pacific Islander communities had urged Newsom to appoint an attorney general of Asian descent, saying it's critical to have a top law enforcement official who understands and will combat anti-Asian violence. His appointment comes amid a time of rising violence against Asian Americans.

Bonta's nomination is subject to confirmation by the California Assembly and Senate within 90 days. Bonta would hold the job through 2022, which is when he would have to run for election.

Rob Bonta Sumarry

*Rob Bonta (Democratic Party) is a member of the California State Assembly, representing District 18. He assumed office on December 3, 2012. His current term ends on December 4, 2022.

*Bonta (Democratic Party) ran for re-election to the California State Assembly to represent District 18. He won in the general election on November 3, 2020.

*On March 24, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Bonta attorney general of California.

Early Life, Education and Family of Rob Bonta

Rob Bonta is the son of a proud native Filipino mother and a father who taught him the value of public service to his community.

They both worked with the United Farm Workers and were active in the Civil Rights Movement and the ongoing fight for social, economic, and racial justice.

Growing up in a trailer a stone’s throw away from César Chávez’s home, Bonta watched closely as his parents worked for the United Farm Workers of America and 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.

Who is Rob Bonta - California's first Filipino Attorney General: Biography, Career, Family and Personal Life
Rob Bonta and His Family

Rob Bonta graduated with honors from Yale College with a degree in History. After studying at Oxford University in England, he returned to earn his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School.

Rob believed legal training was one of the most powerful ways to effect positive 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 going to college and law school, 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 worked with children and families in nearby public housing neighborhoods.

Wife and Children: Rob and his wife Mialisa live in Alameda with their three children.

Rob Bonta Career and Political Life

In 2012, Bonta was elected to the California State Assembly's 18th District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro.

He became the first Filipino American state legislator in California's then 160-plus-year history. His professional experience includes serving as the commissioner of Alameda County Transportation, on the board of directors of the Alameda Healthcare District, and as vice mayor of the city of Alameda.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta serves as Chair of the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security committee. He also serves as a member of the Health, Transportation, Banking and Finance, and Elections and Redistricting committees. In February 2013, Bonta was appointed by Speaker John A. Pérez as Chair of the Select Committee on Gun Violence in the East Bay. The Select Committee is currently conducting hearings and meeting with stakeholders from across California to help identify some of the root causes of gun violence and more deeply examine the more successful community efforts at reducing gun violence.

Who is Rob Bonta - California's first Filipino Attorney General: Biography, Career, Family and Personal Life
Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Bonta attorney general of California

Prior to serving in the Assembly, Rob Bonta was the Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda, where he strongly supported public safety, fostered economic development, and exercised fiscal responsibility. Throughout his career in public service, Assemblymember Bonta, 41, has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for California's public schools and job creation.

In the Assembly, Assemblymember Bonta has introduced and supported legislation to help keep our neighborhoods safe from gun violence, provide a quality education to all of our children, build prosperous communities, and protect our social service safety net.

Prior to being elected to the City Council, Rob was an elected member of the Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors, where he championed access to quality health care for all. He also served as the Chair of the City of Alameda's Economic Development Commission, where he focused on business attraction and business retention efforts, and as board president for the Social Service Human Relations Board, he fought to protect safety net services for the most vulnerable members of the community.

Rob served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he represented the City and County and its employees and brought cases to protect California's residents from different forms of abuse. His legal career has included service as a litigation associate for a major Bay Area law firm and as a law clerk for Judge Alvin W. Thompson of the United States District Court in Connecticut.

State laws Bonta introduced that were signed into law include a measure to automatically expunge marijuana-related offenses from people's records after California legalized recreational marijuana, to eliminate private prisons and to end cash bail. Voters rejected the bail change in a November 2020 referendum.

Before joining the Legislature, Bonta was deputy city attorney in San Francisco and a member of the Alameda City Council.

Attorney general is among the most highly coveted statewide offices in California, second only to the governor in terms of public recognition and power. Vice President Kamala Harris previously held the job, as did former Gov. Jerry Brown.

California attorneys general have used the job to go after private companies over labor law, environmental violations and predatory practices, among other things.

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