Kevin de León
|Kevin de León|
|50th President pro tempore of the California Senate|
October 15, 2014
|Preceded by||Darrell Steinberg|
|Member of the California State Senate
from the 24th district
22nd district (2010–2014)
December 6, 2010
|Preceded by||Gil Cedillo|
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 45th district
December 4, 2006 – December 6, 2010
|Preceded by||Jackie Goldberg|
|Succeeded by||Gil Cedillo|
December 10, 1966 |
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Santa Barbara
Kevin de León is a Democratic member of the California State Senate, elected to serve Los Angeles County's 24th Senatorial district in November 2010. The district includes Downtown Los Angeles, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Mt. Washington, Lincoln Heights, South Los Angeles, the Cities of Alhambra, South Pasadena, San Marino, Vernon and Maywood, and unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County.
On June 19, Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to serve as President pro tempore of the California State Senate. He was sworn in on October 15, 2014, making him the first Latino President pro Tempore in more than 130 years 
De León served four years as a State Assembly member for the 45th district that included Hollywood, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Historic Filipiniotown, Echo Park, Chinatown, El Sereno, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Mount Washington, Montecito Heights, Highland Park, Glassell Park and East Los Angeles.
Throughout his legislative career, De León focused much of his efforts on bills affecting the environment, the working poor, immigration and public safety. He was instrumental in last year's passage of a bill providing driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally, and made national headlines in 2012 by proposing a first-of-its-kind, state-run retirement savings plan for low-income workers. He co-chaired Proposition 39 – the California Clean Energy Jobs Act — helping to create more than 40,000 California jobs, and generate billions of dollars to modernize California schools.
During his eight years representing Los Angeles in the Legislature, de León has pressed the concerns of immigrants, low-wage workers and families suffering from gang violence. He has championed bills that restrict the sale of ammunition, improve energy efficiency in schools, expand urban park space, give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and require overtime pay for domestic workers. He also fought to ensure revenue from California’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions be directed towards air, water and other environmental quality projects in low-income neighborhoods. 
Kevin de León has denied involvement in an ongoing scandal of illegal payments/bribes, and federal investigation of his fellow CA Senator Ronald S. Calderon. Kevin de León denied involvement in the scandal, in December 2013. As of July 2014, de León has not been charged with any wrongdoing in relation to the Calderon case. A letter was released by the assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the case reporting that de León, "is a witness, not a target in the federal investigation." California’s political watchdog has decided not to investigate de León, saying there is no evidence he played a role in the $25,000 payment to Calderon’s brother’s group. In 2013, de Leon was involved in a junket to Norway and Sweden paid for by the California Foundation for Economy and Environment which has paid thousands of dollars over the years for such junkets that do seem to result in any legisation.
After years as an educator teaching U.S. citizenship courses, de León became a community organizer helping plan the largest civil rights march in California history against Proposition 187. Now, on the 20th anniversary of Proposition 187’s passage, his Senate Bill 396 erases this California law. Following years as an advocate for teachers and public schools with the National Education Association and California Teachers Association, Kevin de León ran for a seat in the California state legislature and won.
de León was the first in his family to graduate from high school and attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his degree from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with Honors. He lives in Los Angeles and has one daughter.
de León is a member of the Alliance for a Better California and the California Teachers Association.
De León is an advocate of gun control. He proposed an annual permit tax of up to $50 to pay for background checks for criminal records and mental illness. In February 2008, as an assemblyman, de Léon introduced AB 2062 regulating sales of handgun ammunition; the bill passed the Assembly but died in the Senate. In December 2012, de León introduced Bill SB 53 in the California Legislature, in which he proposed stricter gun control by requiring ammunition buyer permit requirement and face-to-face ammo sales only at licensed dealers. De Leon has also criticized NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
De León was the sponsor and author of California Assembly Bill 962[better source needed] (AB 962) a gun control law in California, later signed into law by Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger on October 11, 2009. AB 962 was set to take effect on February 1, 2011, but was ruled unconstitutional by Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton on January 18, 2011, in Parker v. California.[better source needed]
On August 15, 2014, Senate Bill 53 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and put on the suspense file. This indicates that the bill is suspended from further committee action. On August 30, 2014, the bill was brought to the floor of the CA Senate and failed to garner the 41 votes needed to pass.
Despite his strong pro-gun control stance, de León has demonstrated a lack of knowledge when it comes to actual firearms. On January 13th, 2014, de León held a press conference in support of Senate Bill 808, a measure that sought to add more regulations to the manufacture of homemade firearms. In an attempt to drive home his point, Senator de León held up a homemade firearm that he said needed to be more stringently regulated in order to prevent more tragedies like the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. However, the firearm used in the Sandy Hook massacre was not a homemade firearm, and the firearm that de León displayed at the press conference was already illegal and would have been so, regardless of any new legislation passed. Finally, while making his comments on the capabilities and dangers associated with homemade firearms, Senator de León made several statements (such as “This right here has the ability with a .30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip in half a second.”) that were either technically inaccurate or referenced things that do not exist altogether.
- McGreevy, Patrick (December 16, 2013). "Sen. Kevin De Leon denies role in contribution to Calderon group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- Patrick, McGreevy. "Setback put Kevin de León on the path to Senate leadership". http://www.latimes.com. Eddy Hartenstein. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Sen. Kevin De Leon leads gun control campaign in California
- "State Assembly Narrowly Approves Legislation to Require Handgun Ammunition Dealers to be Licensed". YubaNet.com. May 30, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- California State Legislature
- State Sen. Kevin de Leon talks gun control and the NRA
- Anti-Gun Senator Is Being Mocked Relentlessly After He Warned of ’30 Magazine Clips’ in Embarrassing Video
- Official government website
- Campaign website
- Reference to a cartoon satirical character involving "ghost guns"