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California Attorney General Bonta to Speak at UC Davis School of Law Commencement

News Posted on May 10, 2021

California Attorney General Rob Bonta will be the keynote speaker for UC Davis School of Law’s virtual commencement on Saturday, May 15.

Sworn in on April 23 by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Bonta is California’s 34th attorney general, and the first Filipino American and second Asian American to hold the office. Newsom selected Bonta, previously a Democratic state Assemblyman, to fill the office vacated by Xavier Becerra, now the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May, UC Davis Law Dean Kevin R. Johnson, faculty speaker Jasmine E. Harris and student speaker Viktoriya Chebotarev ’21 also will address graduates at the law school commencement.

Elected in 2012 to represent the California State Assembly’s 18th District (Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro), Bonta advanced legislative reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. He authored a law phasing out private prisons and immigration detention facilities and introduced legislation to end cash bail in many cases.

Bonta also led statewide fights for racial, economic, and environmental justice and worked to further the rights of immigrant families, renters and working Californians.

A graduate of Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, Bonta worked his way through college, graduating with honors from Yale College before earning a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Born in the Philippines, Bonta immigrated to California with his family as an infant. His parents were active in the civil rights and farm labor movements.

Soon after leaving the Philippines, the family moved to a trailer at the Kern County headquarters of the United Farm Workers. Bonta’s parents worked alongside César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in organizing Latino and Filipino farmworkers.

Bonta has credited his parents with his desire to become a lawyer and advocate for underserved communities.