Our new California Senate Leader: Kevin de León


Yesterday, Kevin de León was sworn in as California Senate President pro tem:

As a young activist, Kevin de León helped lead a 1994 rally that flooded downtown Los Angeles streets with protesters opposing a ballot measure to cut off government services to immigrants in the country illegally.

Voters approved Proposition 187 anyway, only to see most of it tossed out by the courts. Twenty years later, as a state senator, De León finished the job by pushing through legislation that wiped the last vestiges of the measure from California law.

Now, as the Los Angeles Democrat prepares to take over Wednesday as leader of the state Senate, De León must prove he can balance his political agenda with the demands of the new post: shepherding colleagues with disparate political views onto common ground.

The job of Senate president pro tem requires the former activist to mesh with the patriarchal tendencies of Gov. Jerry Brown, the understated, iron-ore resolve of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and a Republican caucus that, although a minority, still has some bite.

There's a lot more to read, and you can do it at the Los Angeles Times.

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