Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D) was first elected to the Assembly in November 2010 to represent the 28th Assembly District, which consisted of San Benito County, the Salinas Valley, North Monterey County, South Santa Clara County and the city of Watsonville. In November of 2012, he was re-elected to the Assembly as the representative of the newly formed 30th Assembly District. Alejo’s new district now contains a greater portion of the Monterey County coast and south Santa Clara County.
Currently, Assemblymember Alejo sits on four standing committees. Most notably, Alejo is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety. However, his other committee assignments include Judiciary, Labor and Employment, and Local Government. In the past, Alejo’s committee assignments have included the Assembly Committee on Budget and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
During his first term in the State Assembly, Alejo focused on bringing jobs back to California as well as authoring legislation in the areas of education, healthcare, public safety, civil rights and public access to government. For the 2013-14 Legislative Session, Alejo hopes to expand on his first term while adding access to safe drinking water and immigration reform to the list.
Before being elected to the Assembly, Assemblymember Alejo served as the Mayor of Watsonville, as well as on the Watsonville Planning Commission, the Library Board, and the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission.
Born and raised in Watsonville, Alejo’s family came to work in the agricultural fields of the Salinas, Santa Clara and Pajaro Valleys as migrant farmworkers in the 1950s. He graduated from Watsonville High School and Gavilan Community College in Gilroy.
Alejo went on to graduate with honors from UC Berkeley with dual bachelors degrees in political science and Chicano studies, and obtained his master's of education degree from Harvard University in administration, planning and social policy. He received his Juris Doctorate (JD) from the University of California, Davis, School of Law where he won the “Maggie Schelen” Public Service Award and the Martin Luther King Community Service Award.
After finishing his graduate and professional studies, Luis returned to his hometown of Watsonville to work as a legal aid attorney where he championed the rights of working families throughout the Monterey Bay area. He then worked as a staff attorney for the Monterey County Superior Court, where he assisted thousands of self-represented litigants throughout Monterey County who couldn’t afford private attorneys. He has also previously worked as a high school teacher, focusing on “at-risk” youth, many who were released from juvenile hall or were on probation.
Alejo was previously a Jesse M. Unruh Fellow for the California State Assembly at the State Capital in Sacramento where he worked as a legislative aide for Assemblymember Manny Diaz (D-San Jose). In the 2002 legislative session, he drafted and staffed numerous bills and resolutions, and earned a reputation for being an effective and hardworking legislative staffer, knowledge of which he brought to his first-term in the Assembly.
Alejo made national headlines in May 2012 when he became the first Assemblymember to propose in the Assembly Chambers during legislative session. He and his wife, Karina Cervantez, married on December 8, 2012. Cervantez was recently elected to the Watsonville City Council and serves as Mayor Pro Tem.