Biography

Assemblymember Chris Holden brings to the legislature a lifetime of experience in public service and business garnered during his many years on the Pasadena City Council and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. He was first elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2014, 2016, and 2018 from a district that stretches from Pasadena in the West to Upland in the East and includes the communities of Altadena, Claremont, La Verne, Monrovia, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena.

While in office Holden has authored legislation to save developmental disability services, protect public health, and preserve civil rights. He supports legislation that grows our economy, protects our environments, strengthens our infrastructure and supports working families.

On developmental disabilities, Holden successfully lead efforts to keep developmentally disability service providers open and funded at appropriate levels. He fought to increase reimbursement rates for developmental disability service providers in cities that had minimum wage laws that outpaced the State’s. Now with a $25 million dollar increase in the budget, that would be matched with federal funds, there is $50 million dollars for bridge funding to retain vital services for individuals and families living with disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities.

On children’s health, Holden passed legislation that expands lead testing in drinking water within California’s childcare centers. The legislation also requires child care providers to receive instruction on the risks of and how to prevent lead exposure, and requires them to give parents written information about childhood blood lead testing requirements.

On civil rights, Holden passed a bill that requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to include information in the California Driver’s Handbook regarding a person’s civil rights during a traffic stop.

After the wildfires in 2017, Holden served as co-chair of the Wildfire Preparedness and Response Legislative Conference Committee with his colleague, Senator Bill Dodd. The Committee passed legislation to provide comprehensive safety solutions to make the electricity system safer and protect ratepayers. The legislation also protects wildfire victims’ rights in civil actions and bans the use of ratepayer funds for executive compensation or perks. As Chair of Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy, Holden will continue to seek solutions to California’s wildfire crisis.

Locally, Holden established himself as a leader in strengthening the economic vitality of the San Gabriel Valley by organizing a transportation roundtable with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Mayors of 11 other cities to discuss the transportation priorities for the area, including the future of the Metro Gold Line extension. For the past four years, as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Regional Transportation Solutions, Holden held hearings to discuss timely transportation issues for the region and the State. The hearings, attended by hundreds, included local and state government officials and transportation experts that discussed issues regarding funding solutions, active transportation and managing regional growth.

Holden currently chairs the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. Additional committee assignments include Business & Professions, Communications and Conveyance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, and Judiciary. He is Chair of the Select Committee on Regional Transportation and Interconnectivity Solutions and sits on the Advisory Committee of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He also serves on the Select Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education and is an Alliance member of the Select Committee on the Status of Boys & Men of Color. From 2016 to 2018, he was Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

Prior to his election to the Assembly, Holden served 24 years as a Pasadena City Councilmember and Mayor. He was the youngest City Councilmember at age 28 and only the second African American to serve as Mayor. Throughout his years of public service, Holden has been a champion in creating jobs, preserving vital services, strengthening the economic vitality of the San Gabriel Valley and expanding the light rail. While on the City Council, Holden served as a Commissioner and President of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority and on the Pasadena Light Rail Alignment Task Force.

Holden owns CHMB Consulting, a real estate firm and is a former owner of a Subway franchise. He is a lifelong resident of the district and graduate of San Diego State University. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Melanie, and children Nicholas, Alexander, Austin, Mariah and Noah. Holden is the son of former State Senator and LA City Councilman Nate Holden.