On January 3, 2023, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) released the following statement after being sworn-in to represent California in the United States Senate for the 118th Congress:
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of California in the United States Senate. The promise of the American Dream is alive today as the first-generation son of a housekeeper and a short-order cook is sworn in to represent the largest state in the Union. For working families, for small business owners, for underserved communities, and for Californians of every race and creed from the most diverse state in the nation — I will continue fighting to keep that Dream alive.
“We have our work cut out for us over the next six years. To defend the Dream for millions of Americans, we must work to bolster our democracy in the face of escalating threats, so that all Americans can access their fundamental right to vote. We must restore fairness and humanity to our outdated immigration laws, to rebuild an immigration system that better reflects our values as a nation of immigrants. And for the sake of our very future, we must continue to boldly confront the climate crisis head-on.
“The work we do in this moment will shape the course of our country for generations to come. I’m ready to continue working on behalf of families across California and our nation and for all those who strive for their shot at the American Dream.”
Footage of the swearing-in ceremony and reenactment is available here.
The son of immigrants, Padilla grew up in the San Fernando Valley and studied mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was called to politics in response to the passage of California’s anti-immigrant Proposition 187. Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1999 and the California State Senate in 2006. As California’s Secretary of State, he oversaw a historic expansion of voting rights and voter participation. Padilla lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Angela, and their three sons, Roman, Alex, and Diego.