Since 2013, Mark Takano has represented the people of the Inland Empire in the United States House of Representatives, fighting for the region’s progressive priorities. He’s been a voice for veterans, seniors, students, local businesses and hardworking families.
Mark was born and raised in Riverside, and his family roots go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives.
Mark attended Harvard College and received his bachelor’s degree in Government in 1983. Mark returned home to Riverside and in 1988 began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in schools serving predominantly Latino and African American students. As a classroom teacher, Mark confronted the challenges in our public education system daily.
In 1990, Mark was elected to the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees. At RCC, Mark has worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career. Mark was elected Board President in 1991 and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges.
Mark’s long history of public service in Riverside County includes service on the Community Advisory Board of the Children’s Spine Foundation and the Board of the Chancellor’s Asian Pacific Islander Community Advisory Center at the University of California, Riverside. He served as chairman of the Riverside Mayor’s Task Force on the Digital Divide, Chairman of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the California Democratic Party, a charter member of the Association of Latino Community College Trustees, a member of the Association of California Asian American Trustees and a member of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. He is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Visionaries Award.
Today, Mark Takano represents Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris and Jurupa Valley in the United States Congress. In 2012, Mark became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress. As Congressman, Mark works to advance local priorities: creating good-paying jobs, keeping families in their homes, improving public education, and honoring the service of our veterans. He continues to fight to protect Medicare and Social Security, and strengthen America’s middle class.
In Congress, Mark is the Ranking Member of of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and a member of the House Committee on Education & Labor. He is a co-chair of the Equality Caucus, and vice chair of the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.