03/03/2016 by Ed Coghlan
VIDEO: New Speaker Rendon touts the need for public trust in water spending
Hailing from Southern California, Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) will become the 70th California Assembly Speaker on March 7.
Rendon, now in his second term in the Assembly, first came to statewide attention when he chaired the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and authored the bill that became Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion state water bond, which voters passed by a 67 percent to 33 percent margin in the November 2014 election.
Rendon, who has said that restoring the public’s trust in government is imperative, didn’t author the bond the way they are often created: “behind closed doors” with the normal power brokers in the room. Rather he and the committee held 18 public hearings around the state in what he called “a real dialogue with Californians.”
What he heard was the importance of oversight--making doubly sure that the bond money is spent wisely and efficiently. Rendon understands the public’s skepticism, especially given his own district’s distrust of government is fueled by the fact that five of the nine cities in his district have former local elected officials now serving jail terms.
“That’s why we did it differently,” he told California Forward in a video interview in his Capitol office last week.