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 and 2016 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 help foster youth, improve education outcomes for all Californians, and save developmental disability services. He supports legislation that grows our economy, protects our environments, strengthens our infrastructure and supports working families.
On foster care, Holden passed legislation that increases affordable housing options for foster youth, disabled veterans, or formerly homeless individuals, and another bill that streamlined foster youth enrollment into educational assistance programs in California Community Colleges and California State University Programs. He also increased financial support for relative caregivers of foster youth into our State budget.
On education, Holden passed a bill to remove limits on concurrent enrollment to increase access to higher education for high school students. This year, he continues efforts to bring a statewide transportation pass program to California to help ease the financial burden of pursing higher education while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
On developmental disabilities, Holden is leading efforts to keep developmentally disability service providers open and funded at appropriate levels. With the passage of local minimum wage laws, organizations serving people with developmental disabilities are strained to continue their vital work as the reimbursement rates for those services are set and controlled by the State. Holden continues to seek solutions through both the legislative and budget process.
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 three 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. In 2016, he was elected 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.