For more than twenty years, Mark Takano has worked to improve the lives of Riverside County residents, both as an elected official and as a teacher at Rialto High School.
Born and raised in Riverside, Mark’s commitment to public service began at an early age. His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives.
Upon graduation, Mark returned home to Riverside and began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988. As a classroom teacher, Mark confronted the challenges in our public education system daily.
In 1990, Mark was elected to the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees. At RCC, Mark worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career. He was elected Board President in 1991 and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges.
In 2012, Mark became the first openly gay person of color to be elected to Congress.
In Congress, Mark has returned more than $2 million in benefits to constituents and veterans, advocated for immigration reform, toured more than 100 local businesses, and increased the number of VA medical residencies.
Mark Takano represents the people of Riverside, Moreno Valley, Jurupa Valley and Perris in the United States House of Representatives. He serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the Education and Workforce Committee, and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Candidate for New York's 19th Congressional District
"I have been fighting against Citizens United before it existed, and was cited in Justice Stevens’ dissent. I have testified in front of Pelosi on the importance of an earlier version of the Disclose Act, worked as an advocate to let people know about Sarbanes’ critically important work. I was on the Every Voice board since 2008, led the Mayday board for 6 months, and was the first National Director of the Sunlight Foundation." - Zephyr Teachout