Mike Gatto

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Mike Gatto
CA Assemblyman Mike Gatto.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 43rd district
Assumed office
June 10, 2010
Preceded by Paul Krekorian
Personal details
Born (1974-10-19) October 19, 1974 (age 41)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Danielle Gatto
Residence Glendale, California[1]
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles (B.A.)
Loyola Law School (J.D.)
Website mikegatto.com

Michael Anthony "Mike" Gatto (born October 19, 1974)[2] is an American elected official. In June 2010, after a series of three elections in eight weeks, the voters of California's 43rd State Assembly district elected him to the California State Assembly.

A data analysis of the voting records of California legislators conducted by the Sacramento Bee newspaper in 2012 concluded that Mike Gatto was the second-most independent Democratic Assembly member, voting against his party on just under 10% of contested votes.[3]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Gatto grew up in the Franklin Hills and Silver Lake neighborhoods of Los Angeles.[citation needed] His father was a public-school teacher, his grandfather a steelworker.[citation needed]

Gatto earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996[2][4] and a J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2004.[2][4]

He worked as an aide to Congressman Brad Sherman[5] for five years,[6] during and after law school.[citation needed] As an attorney, he worked first at O'Melveny & Myers and later at Mayer Brown; his practice focused on representing small- and medium-sized businesses to resolve issues with the government.[citation needed] Gatto also served in the administrations of three different mayors of Los Angeles and as President of the El Pueblo (Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority) Commission.[citation needed]

Elections to the Assembly[edit]

In January 2010, after Assemblyman Paul Krekorian resigned his position to take a seat on the Los Angeles City Council, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger scheduled a special election for April 13, 2010.[6] Gatto defeated two Democrats in the open primary with 32.3% of the vote and advanced to a June runoff election to determine who would fill out the remainder of Krekorian's term.[6] During the election, Gatto secured the endorsement of the Los Angeles Daily News, which wrote that Gatto was "fiscally minded and intelligent... the kind of legislator California needs."[7]

On June 8, 2010, Gatto won both the runoff against a Republican for Krekorian's unexpired term, and a primary against Democrats, to run for a full term on the November 2010 ballot.[5] In November 2010, Gatto won election to the full term, with 65.9% of the vote.[8]

In November 2012, Gatto won reelection with 60.2% of the vote.[9] In November 2014, Gatto won reelection with 67% of the vote.[9]

The 43rd Assembly District includes Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, La Canada Flintridge, and the Los Angeles communities of Atwater Village, Franklin Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, the Hollywood Hills, and half of Hollywood.

Legislative career[edit]

In 2010, Gatto introduced legislation to reduce municipal pension costs. His bill sought to cap the exposure of conservatively managed cities when less frugal (or corrupt) municipalities offered top officials large salaries. Gatto was moved to introduce this legislation by the 2010 City of Bell salary controversy, where cities like Glendale had to underwrite approximately $411,000 in annual pension costs for Bell's former police chief.[10]

In an October 2010 special session of the state assembly, Gatto authored ACA 4, an enhanced version of a Rainy Day Fund (or "savings account") for the State of California. The proposed constitutional amendment required the legislature, during years of strong revenues, to follow a strict program limiting expenditures. First, the state would have to fulfill all obligations to education. Then it would be required to deposit up to 10% of general fund revenues into a savings account, to be used during years where revenue weakened. After that, the state would be mandated to pay down bond debt, easing the burden on future years. Gatto's Rainy Day Fund legislation passed both houses of the legislature and was approved by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[11]

In the 2011-2012 session, Gatto served as Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the California Assembly.[12][13]

One of Gatto's bills in 2011 would have required the state to study embedding piezoelectric sensors in state highways, which produce electrical energy by the vibrations vehicles make as they traverse the pavement.[14]

Gatto authored the California Homemade Food Act to allow small businesses to produce certain food products without falling afoul of county regulations meant for commercial restaurants and bakeries.[15] The Act was noted by KCRA as being beneficial to small businesspeople in the food-production sector.[16]

In August 2012, Gatto was appointed chair of the assembly's Appropriations Committee.[13] He served until December 2014.

In September 2012, Gatto introduced a bill to the California state legislature that required the California DMV to establish the California Legacy License Plate Program. The program offers California vehicle owners the opportunity to purchase replicas of vehicle license plates issued in California in 1950, 1960, and 1970.[17] Only the 1960s plate (yellow lettering on black background) reached the required 7,500 orders by the January 2015 deadline. The DMV began accepting orders for the 1960 legacy plate on June 17, 2015.[18]

Gatto's 2013 legislation has included a bill to forbid cities from writing tickets to motorists who park at malfunctioning parking meters that the city has failed to repair.[19] He also authored legislation which would give businesses an opportunity to correct deficiencies in Proposition 65 warnings for common substances before being subject to financial penalties and lawsuits.[20] Gatto also authored legislation to help catch and punish hit-and-run drivers, and to make better use of carpool lanes during off-peak hours.[21]

In mid-2013, Gatto teamed up with controversial Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly to push for an audit of the Child Protective Services departments in the state of California.[22]

In 2014, Gatto introduced legislation to force Congress to address campaign-finance reform.[23] He introduced a number of measures to address hit-and-run crashes.[24] Gatto also introduced measures to curb child abuse at elementary schools,[25] and to address the problem of sexual assaults on college campuses.[26] And Gatto was the author of significant legislation to keep production jobs in California.[27]

Two measures of Gatto's in 2014 were novel for government. One was a "Wiki-bill", using a Wikipedia-like platform to allow the public to draft legislation in the open.[28] The other was a "Government X-Prize, whereby members of the public could win awards for providing the government with intellectual property (patents or plans) to make government processes more efficient.[29]

In 2015, Gatto introduced legislation to restrict the ability of government to store indefinitely the blood and DNA of newborn children and to crack down on government leasing the blood to for-profit researchers for experimentation without the knowledge of parents.[30]

Analyses and awards[edit]

Gatto had one of the best attendance records in the legislature in 2011[31] In the 2013-2014 session, Gatto had the only perfect attendance record in the California legislature, not missing one of the Assembly's 5,897 votes.[32]

In 2013, Mike Gatto earned the Robert F. Kennedy Leadership Award from the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats.[33]

In 2012, a data analysis conducted by the Sacramento Bee newspaper on voting records concluded that Mike Gatto was the second-most independent democratic legislator in the California State Assembly.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Gatto is married to Danielle Gatto.[2][4] They have two young daughters.[34][35]

On November 14, 2013, Gatto's father, Joseph Gatto was murdered in a home-invasion robberty at his home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, at the age of 78.[36][37]


  1. ^ "Assemblyman Gatto, About". 17 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d California State University-Fullerton Government Relations Department web page Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "See most, least independent state legislators". 
  4. ^ a b c "Assembly Member Mike Gatto Biography - Project Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Kevin Modesti (18 October 2010). "Mike Gatto, Sunder Ramani compete for seat for a third time". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Kevin Modesti (14 April 2010). "Attorney Mike Gatto wins Democratic bid for vacant Assembly seat". Los Angeles Daily News. 
  7. ^ Kevin Modesti (21 May 2010). "Vote for Gatto: Fiscally minded and intelligent, he's the kind of legislator California needs". Los Angeles Daily News. 
  8. ^ "Election Results, Nov. 2, 2010, 43rd AD". 
  9. ^ a b "2012 Election Results, 43rd AD".  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "reelect" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ Bill Kisliuk (19 August 2010). "Gatto introduces bill to ease pension burden following Bell scandal". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Political Landscape: Gatto's measure would help Rainy Day Fund". 
  12. ^ "Political Landscape: Gatto garners post and speaker positions". Glendale News-Press. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Mark Kellam (11 August 2012). "Gatto to Chair Appropriations Committee". Glendale News-Press. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Ovidiu Sandru (11 February 2011). "New Bill Could Allow California to Harness Power Otherwise Lost as Cars Travel Over Pavement". The Green Optimistic. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Short, April M. (3 April 2012). "Homemade in California". Santa Cruz Good Times. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Cottage Law: Helps California Entrepreneurs". KCRA. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  17. ^ http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120AB1658.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/legacyplates/index.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Not So Eager Meters". 
  20. ^ "Editorial in Favor of Mike Gatto's AB 227". 
  21. ^ "2013 Legislation from Mike Gatto". 
  22. ^ "Sammy Nikolayev CPS case triggers statewide audit". 
  23. ^ "Can California ignite a prairie fire?". 
  24. ^ "Gatto Legislation Would Create Alert System For Hit-and-Run Crashes". 
  25. ^ "New law will finally require training teachers to report child abuse". 
  26. ^ "New California Bill Would Change Rules for Reporting Rapes on College Campuses". 
  27. ^ "To not nix pix, California must use tax trix". 
  28. ^ "State Assemblyman Mike Gatto Uses Wiki to Draft Laws". 
  29. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzOy7ZayZCM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Protect DNA Privacy". 
  31. ^ Phillip Reese (26 April 2011). "During last session, legislators missed 48,600 votes". The Sacramento Bee "The Public Eye" blog. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  32. ^ http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_27136565/tipoff-assemblywoman-lopez-catching-up-and-feeling-at.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "10th Annual RFK Awards".  San Fernando Valley Young Democrats web page. Retrieved 19 June 2013
  34. ^ "CV Weekly: New Daughter for Mike Gatto". Crescent Valley Weekly. 8 October 2012. 
  35. ^ "Young Families Join Legislators at Swearing In Day at the Capitol". Sacramento Bee. 3 December 2012. 
  36. ^ Bloomekatz, Ari. "Assemblyman Mike Gatto's father shot and killed in Silver Lake home". latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  37. ^ http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/11/14/40368/calif-assemblyman-mike-gatto-s-father-found-shot-k/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]