Miguel Santiago was elected in November 2014 to represent California’s 53rd Assembly District, which includes downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire, Boyle Heights, Pico Union, MacArthur Park, Westlake, Little Tokyo and the cities of Huntington Park and Vernon. During his first term in office, Santiago was the highest-ranking freshman legislator in the Assembly, serving as Majority Whip and holding appointments to key committees.
Santiago has authored legislation that increases public safety, protects families facing homelessness, and makes college more affordable. He also played a critical role in securing $176.6 million from State funds to clean up the toxins emitted by Exide Technologies in the Boyle Heights and Vernon communities in his district. Santiago was recently appointed to be Chairman of the Committee on Communications and Conveyance, and continues to serve on the Assembly Committees on Higher Education, Health, Utilities & Energy, and Public Safety.
Prior to being elected to the State Assembly, Santiago served as District Director for former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. In that capacity, he worked with residents in every neighborhood in the district to assist them in solving problems with state government.
In 2008, Santiago was appointed to the Los Angeles Community College District’s Board, then elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2011 as the board’s President. He led the effort to pass Measure J, a $3.5 billion bond aimed at building and renovating the district’s nine colleges. Santiago also played a key role in auditing the bond expenditures, forming the Office of the Inspector General and the whistle-blower programs. During his time on the board, the district overhauled the employee healthcare coverage which resulted in savings for the district’s operating budget. As a direct result, the district avoided furloughs and layoffs during unprecedented funding cuts to public education.
Santiago was born to immigrant parents and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives in Downtown Los Angeles with his wife, Celina, their son, Ethan, and newborn daughter, Brielle.