A PRODUCT OF OUR COMMUNITY
READY TO FIGHT IN THE ASSEMBLY
HI, I'M BIJAN
and I'm running to be your Assemblyman in California's 72nd District.
I grew up in the 72nd District; it’s where I went to public school from Pre-School to High School. I was a boy scout in Troop 658, played little league baseball at the Joint Forces Training Base, and played soccer in AYSO Region 159. It’s also where I had my first library card. Growing up in such a diverse community gave me an appreciation for the value of different perspectives and a deep understanding of the struggles our district faces.
My father immigrated to California from Iran, around the time of the revolution, in search of the “American Dream”. He didn’t speak English; and his first job was selling ice cream. The “ice cream truck” doubled as his home, until he was able to save enough money to rent an apartment. He learned English from listening to cassette tapes, and eventually, he began to sell cars. After a few years he opened his first car sales business and that business grew into others. But his story isn’t unique, it’s like that of so many in our community.
When I was in 7th grade, 25 years after my dad immigrated, he was finally able to take the U.S. Citizenship test. I remember studying with him, quizzing him, and laughing when he’d get slipped up or say something in his Persian accent. He passed the exam and was sworn in. He beamed with pride knowing that he’d be able to vote in the next election. He was a proud Democrat. Unfortunately, he never had that opportunity because he passed away suddenly one week prior to that election.
My mom, a beautiful and strong Latina, grew up in poverty in Los Angeles. She was uprooted multiple times and lived in countless foster homes. By the age of 25 three of her siblings had passed away. In the year prior to losing my dad, she lost her mother and her brother. But she was born a survivor. Following my dad’s passing, she took on four jobs, working 17-hour days to make ends meet and to keep a roof over our heads. She was a crossing guard on Bloomfield and Katella, an elementary school lunch server, a waitress in a local diner, and a nanny. I can’t imagine how she did it, but through it all she provided a stable and loving home, and guided me and my younger brother on paths towards success.
In the wealthiest state in the Union, no one should have to work two jobs and still struggle to make ends meet.
MY EDUCATION AND CAREER
I’m a product of the Orange public school system. After graduating from Los Alamitos High School, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Chapman University in Orange. I went on to receive my Juris Doctor degree from UCLA School of Law. During law school, I worked for Judge Josephine L. Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and for Justice Brian M. Hoffstadt of the California Court of Appeal. While at UCLA, my area of academic interest and research was Constitutional Law, particularly surrounding the Second Amendment. I grew up in a generation of mass shootings, but I’ve learned that gun violence doesn’t happen randomly. It’s preventable if our politicians act boldly.
From an early age, I’ve found joy in volunteering and serving our community. I was awarded the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2010 by President Obama for achieving over 1,500 hours of community service. Throughout law school and beyond, I’ve worked pro bono to aid asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking obtain permanent status, helped individuals convicted of low level offenses overcome barriers to employment, and worked with members of the transgender and nonbinary community change their names and gender-markers.
Following law school, I joined a global law firm. I fought alongside soldiers and recruits against the Trump-Pence Administration and its ban on military service by individuals who happen to be transgender. After victories in lower courts, we took that fight to the Supreme Court of the United States. While we faced a setback in the high court, we didn’t back down. I continued to work closely with the California Department of Justice in advising them and the Office of the Governor on strategies to protect transgender rights. It was the fight of a lifetime, and that fight continues on.
LET’S BUILD A BRIGHTER CALIFORNIA
Like many in our community, I have an incredible affinity towards justice, and what pains me the most is witnessing injustice occur with no remedy. Since Trump has taken office, injustice has skyrocketed. We’ve seen it in his decision to separate families and put children in cages without blankets, toothpaste, or soap; in his rolling back of environmental policies that affect access to clean air and water; on his assault on LGBTQ+ rights; and in his attack on women and people of color. However, injustice is not unique to the federal government. While California has led the fight to resist the president’s policies, our politicians have not adequately addressed many of our state’s growing problems.
- 1 out of every 3 children in our district is living in poverty.
- Our education system is the bottom half of the nation in spending per pupil.
- Our state has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation. 1 in 5 of our homeless population are veterans and young adults.
- 1 out of every 5 children in Orange County will be diagnosed with Asthma, a number that continues to rise as our air quality decreases.
Sacramento is in need of bold ideas and fresh leadership to address our rapidly growing problems. We need to act courageously and to pass laws with children and working families in mind. I want to work towards legislating a better California as a model of what every state can achieve.
Together, we can build a California we can be proud of.
It’s why I’m thrilled to be running for the California State Assembly in the 72nd District; I hope you’ll join me in creating a brighter California!