Sen. Ted W. Lieu Named Among 12 Lawmakers Nationwide Worth Watching

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Sen. Ted Lieu

For the second consecutive year, Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance was named by a national government-policy publication as one of the nation’s top ‘legislators to watch.’

“At a time when politicians are about as popular as a sewage treatment plant being built next to your house, it may seem like poor taste to assemble a list of state legislators who are rising stars,” the editors of Governing Magazine wrote in their January 2012 issue, where Lieu was one of 12 state lawmakers, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, identified out of thousands nationwide. “But there are big decisions ahead of state legislatures this year, so it’s good to know there are talented people making them.”

Lieu is the only Californian on the list. The magazine last year also named Lieu one of 12 national lawmakers worth watching, citing his initiative, leadership and work ethic.

“We wanted to feature politicians with a long future, particularly with the possibility of winning higher office at the state or federal level,” the editors said then. “We looked for leadership qualities, demonstrated either through formal leadership posts or service in junior positions where a legislator showed unusual initiative.

“We gave special weight to those who have a compelling personal story to tell.”

Lieu, 42, last February won 57 percent of the vote among a crowded field of eight candidates in a special election. He is a former Assemblyman and Torrance City Council member who represents nearly 1 million residents in west Los Angeles County, from Venice and Santa Monica in the north to the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro.

Despite his late start as a freshman Senator, (he was sworn into office the day before the deadline to submit bills), Lieu successfully pushed eight measures through the Legislature. Gov. Brown signed six of those into law, including Lieu’s initiatives to help create jobs, fight discrimination, and the first-in-the-nation ban on children using cancer-causing tanning beds. Lieu also supported, co-sponsored or co-authored bills to help veterans attend college; address pay abuses in the California National Guard; crack down on sex offenders; and streamline the review process for construction projects while protecting existing environmental standards.

California-based Democratic strategist Garry South was quoted in the January article, saying Lieu is that “rare Democratic political figure who combines it all.”

“He’s smart and well educated, articulate, pleasant and professional to deal with, center-left while also being a former JAG and current reserve officer in the Air Force, has a photogenic young family, and is part of the fastest-growing ethnic group in the largest state,” South said, adding: “Under the newly drawn lines, he’s been handed the wealthiest state Senate district in America, including Bel Air and Beverly Hills. He’s teed up for a great political future.”

Before winning a seat in the Senate, Lieu served in the Assembly for three terms, including leadership positions as chair of the policy-setting Rules Committee, and chair of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.

In the Assembly, Lieu was a leader in standing up to Wall Street’s excesses, reforming the subprime mortgage industry, increasing green buildings, reducing global warming, protecting public safety and preventing domestic violence. He repeatedly stood up to powerful interests on behalf of consumers, crime victims, seniors and children.

Lieu ran for the 28th Senate District seat after incumbent Jenny Oropeza died. Lieu, the son of immigrants who moved to the U.S. when he was 3, grew up helping his family run gift stores while attending school. He went on to receive a computer science degree from Stanford and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

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For more, including information on Lieu’s bills cited above and his biography, visit his Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit

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