State Assembly Democratic, Republican Leaders Offer Lessons in Bipartisan Leadership

Speaker Anthony Rendon and GOP Leader Chad Mayes will speak at UCR on March 16

anthony rendon and chad mayes

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes will discuss bipartisan leadership on March 16.

RIVERSIDE, California – California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) and Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) will appear at UC Riverside on March 16 for a discussion on bipartisan leadership in the state Legislature.

The event is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Alumni & Visitors Center, 3701 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested as seating is limited. Parking will be free in Lot 24.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate dean of the UCR School of Public Policy and a board member of The California Endowment, will serve as moderator.

“Though we often don’t agree, Chad and I have been able to engage in serious policy conversations and come to agreement where there is common ground,” Rendon said. “Our ability to govern in a cordial manner across party lines should serve as a lesson to federal leaders in Washington, D.C., who time after time have failed to put country before party.”

“Regardless of what many believe, Republicans and Democrats alike are committed to improving the lives of all Californians,” Mayes said. “While the speaker and I disagree on the best way to get that done, I remain optimistic that we can work together to provide every Californian the freedom to achieve their dreams.”

The conversation is part of the Speaker’s Lecture Series, which Rendon and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento launched in 2016. The series is a way for California’s legislative leaders to engage with university students and the broader community about the work of the Legislature and critical current issues. It is modeled after a similar set of lectures hosted by the British Parliament aimed at encouraging public understanding and engagement with the work of Parliament.

The discussion between Rendon and Mayes is the kind of event the UCR School of Public Policy supports to encourage vigorous and focused debate on policy issues that are important to California and the nation, said Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the professional school.

“This is a place where critical and strategic conversations among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners can occur,” he said, noting that the School of Public Policy has hosted scores of public officials as well as state commission and legislative hearings in the two years since it enrolled its first graduate students.

Rendon and Mayes will discuss issues like poverty and workforce development, Ramakrishnan said, but the conversation will also focus on the kind of interpersonal relationships and bridge-building needed to pass bipartisan legislation.

“California is facing transformative changes,” Ramakrishnan noted, “and we are taking a leadership role in tackling some of the country’s toughest challenges, whether it is the need for bipartisan leadership in a time of great political division or policy solutions on issues ranging from immigrant integration and health care to crime and poverty.”

Rendon was sworn in as the 70th speaker of the Assembly in March 2016. He was elected to the Assembly in 2012 to represent the 63rd District, which includes the Los Angeles County cities of Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, South Gate and a northern portion of Long Beach. He previously was an educator, environmental activist, and executive director of Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services Inc. He attended Cerritos Community College before earning B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University, Fullerton. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and completed post-doctoral work at Boston University.

Mayes was elected to the Assembly in November 2014 to represent the 42nd District, which includes the communities of Banning, Beaumont, Cabazon, Calimesa, Cherry Valley, much of Hemet, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, San Jacinto, Whitewater, Joshua Tree, Landers, Morongo Valley, Pioneertown, Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley. He previously served on the Yucca Valley Town Council, and was a board member of both the San Bernardino Associated Governments and the League of California Cities. He also was a financial planner, small business owner, and chief of staff to the chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. He is a graduate of Liberty University.

The event is co-hosted by the UCR School of Public Policy and the Center for California Studies, and is co-sponsored by Assembly Member Jose Medina, Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes, Sen. Richard Roth, Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Latino Network, League of Women Voters, NAACP Riverside, The Group, the UC Riverside Office of Governmental and Community Relations, and UCR Chicano Latino Alumni.

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