Former state Senator Alex Padilla, who grew up in Pacoima, was sworn in as California’s 31st Secretary of State Monday, Jan 5. Padilla, a Democrat, is the first Latino elected to the office after winning a tight race against Republican Pete Peterson in November.
Padilla was sworn into office by Governor Jerry Brown in the auditorium of the Secretary of State building in Sacramento in what was described as a “simple ceremony.” He was joined on stage by his wife, their two sons, and Padilla’s mother and father.
Padilla, who has also been a Los Angeles City Council President and the first Latino to serve as president of the California League of Cities in his 15 years in public office, cited increasing voter participation, making it easier to start a business in California, and protecting voting rights among his priorities in this office.
“I intend to be an active and visible Secretary of State,” Padilla said. “I intend to be a hands-on partner with each and every registrar of voters in every county in California … I pledge to maintain the processing time for business filings to five business days or less … and with voter turnout at record lows we should be facilitating people’s participation in elections, not putting up obstacles.
“Californians, we pride ourselves in leadership in a number of policy areas, from environmental protection to to renewable energy to worker rights. Let’s apply that same ambition and that same leadership when it comes to civic engagement.California can and should be the model for the rest of the nation.