Miguel Santiago was first elected in November 2014 to represent the 53rd Assembly District, one of the most vibrant and diverse districts in California. AD 53 encompasses Boyle Heights, Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Pico Union and the surrounding areas.
Miguel was born in Los Angeles to hardworking immigrant parents. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning his degree at the University of California in Los Angeles. At a young age, Santiago jumped into community organizing and public service – driven by a commitment to making healthcare and housing more affordable for all Californians.
He works tirelessly to ensure every student can pursue higher education without incurring mountains of debt. Miguel is the architect of AB 19, a law he authored and passed in 2017 that made community college free in California for the first year. In 2019, he authored and passed legislation, AB 2, that added a second year of free community college. On the heels of his free community college victories, Miguel introduced AB 1862, which aims to create a pathway to help students graduate with a free bachelor’s degree and a bright future.
Since his election, Miguel Santiago has worked to provide housing for Californians experiencing homelessness and stimulate the development of more affordable housing in his district and across the state. He is leading efforts to secure billions of dollars to fight homelessness — the humanitarian crisis in our midst. He continues to work on expanding childcare, has authored some of California’s toughest gun safety regulations, and fights for the fair and equal treatment of hardworking families. An environmental justice champion, Santiago has delivered over $250 million to urgently clean up the toxic contamination caused by corporate polluter Exide Technologies in the City of Vernon.
Miguel has stood up to the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant policies. He has defended California’s vital immigrant communities by delivering millions of dollars for legal services to support unaccompanied minors facing deportation, and those affected by the White House’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status. Miguel helped write laws that protect Dreamers and DACA recipients and coauthored a law that blocks I.C.E. from using local law enforcement resources to further Trump’s hateful attacks that divide our immigrant communities.
In his district, Miguel has leveraged tens of millions of dollars in state funds to renovate the 6th Street Bridge, create new bike lanes and green space, repair crumbling sidewalks, clean up dirty air in disadvantaged communities, and reduce the number of jaywalking tickets given to pedestrians. Miguel secured $4 million to build the first-ever Korean American museum to be located in the heart of Koreatown. To strengthen the ability to make positive investments in districts like his, Miguel authored and passed AB 857, the Public Banking Act of 2019. This historic measure created a public banking system that gives local governments, instead of Wall Street banks, the power to determine how local money is being spent and invested.
Miguel currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. In addition, Miguel serves as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los County Homelessness where he is focused on finding urgent solutions to end homelessness. He also sits on four other key Assembly Committees: Health, Higher Education, Public Safety, and Utilities & Energy Committees.
Miguel and his wife Celina live in Boyle Heights, where they are raising their son, Ethan, little girl, Brielle, and their dogs, Thor and Ewok.