Kevin de León
|Kevin de León|
|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 politician who was elected to the California State Senate in 2010 to represent the 24th district. de León was elected President pro tempore of the California State Senate on June 19, 2014, and was sworn in on October 15, 2014; he is the first Latino to hold that position in over 130 years.
De León served four years as a State Assembly member for the 45th district that included Hollywood, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Historic Filipinotown, 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 illegal immigrants, 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 — hoping 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.
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, as with AB 2062 this also failed. 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]
In January 2014, de Léon demonstrated his limited understanding of guns and gun laws while holding a press conference to propose legislation to eliminate "ghost guns". He was ridiculed for a gross misunderstanding of the rate of fire, legal barrel length, type of magazine, confusing calibers, confusing semiautomatic with automatic rifles, and ignoring the manufacturing difficulties required to machine a forged blank into an a finished gun component. de Léon also claimed that plastic gun components could pass through metal detectors, ignoring the fact that the plastic gun parts would be useless without the metal components that make up the rest of the gun.
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.
"Yes Means Yes"
De León was the sponsor and co-author (with of State Senator Hannah Beth-Jackson), requiring colleges in California, in order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt an "affirmative consent standard" and prohibits various affirmative defenses, including prohibiting specified factors that may negate an accused's mens rea, in college disciplinary proceedings involving allegations of sexual misconduct. Senator De León wrote (along with Senator Hannah Beth-Jackson) that, although "In a court of law, due process is necessary to protect the accused’s liberty," prosecutors too often are unable to gather enough evidence to prosecute offenders. They continue, by stating that their "Yes Means Yes" legislation deals with an administrative adjudication process to ensure that students abide by the code of conduct, and thus is "a fairer process." 
- "Setback put Kevin de León on the path to Senate leadership". Los Angeles Times. June 18, 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
- Editorial: A bill scarier than 'ghost guns'
- de Leon, Kevin (October 13, 2015). "Why we made ‘Yes Means Yes’ California law". The Washington Post (Fred Ryan). Retrieved November 19, 2015.