Miguel Santiago was elected in November 2014 to represent California’s 53rd Assembly District, which includes downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire, Boyle Heights, Pico Union, MacArthur Park, Westlake, Little Tokyo and the cities of Huntington Park and Vernon. He currently serves in the following committees: Appropriations, Education, Higher Education, Health, Public Safety, and Utilities & Commerce. He is also an alternate to the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Parks & Recreation Commission.
As Assembly Member, Santiago has focused his efforts on the health and safety of those communities. As an early champion for the communities affected by the pollution from the Excide Technologies plant in Vernon, he authored AB 118, which directed $176.6 million toward cleanup of the surrounding neighborhoods. With AB 1511, he succeeded in closing a dangerous loophole in California’s gun background check law, playing an integral role in the Legislature’s historic gun control package. As the author of AB 913, which required college campuses to have clear sexual assault reporting and investigation standards, and AB 767, which required community colleges to include active shooter response in their emergency plans, his legislative package has also focused on making sure students benefit from safe learning environments. With a district that includes Downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row, Santiago is proud to be the author of HR 56, leading the call for homelessness in California to be declared a State of Emergency. Furthering his commitment to education, his AB 2150 will establish 12 month eligibility for childcare assistance – both helping young children reach important developmental milestones, and making it easier for students with children to balance school and family.
Prior to being elected to the State Assembly, Santiago served as District Director for former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. In that capacity he worked with residents in every neighborhood in the district to assist them in solving problems with state government.
In 2008, Santiago was appointed to the Los Angeles Community College Board, then elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2011. He was elected to serve as President of the Board in 2011. Along with his colleagues, he led the effort to pass Measure J, a $3.5 billion bond aimed at building and renovating the district’s nine colleges. Under Santiago’s leadership, the campuses located within the district—Los Angeles Trade Tech, Los Angeles City College and East Los Angeles Community College—expanded, repaired and modernized facilities for training in professional careers such as nursing, health care, business, arts and entertainment, criminal justice, architecture and in the “green” workforce sector.
While serving on the College Board, Santiago played a key role in auditing the bond expenditures, forming the Office of the Inspector General and the whistle-blower programs. During his time on the board, the district has overhauled the employee healthcare coverage resulted in a savings for the district’s operating budget. As a direct result, the district avoided furloughs and layoffs during unprecedented funding cuts to public education.
Santiago was born to immigrant parents and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives in Downtown Los Angeles with his wife, Celina, their son, Ethan, and newborn daughter, Brielle.