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California Assembly Elects Toni Atkins As Assembly Speaker

Wikimedia / Bengt Nyman

Wikimedia / Bengt Nyman

Toni Atkins served eight years on the San Diego City Council and was briefly the city’s interim mayor before coming to the Assembly in 2010. Atkins says housing is a big priority for her.

“If I can add my own personal concern, reducing homelessness and providing affordable housing, including for our state’s growing population of veterans,” she says.

San Jose State University Political Science Professor Larry Gerston says Atkins will become the most powerful person in the legislature.

“The speaker appoints the Rules Committee and certainly has great influence over the members of the Rules Committee”, says Gerston. “The Rules Committee in turn appoints all the various committee chairs.”

Atkins takes over the speakership as the state deals with a continuing drought and tries to meet federal court orders to reduce prison overcrowding.

She is scheduled to take over for out-going Speaker John Pèrez this Spring. 



Toni AtkinsP




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Max Pringle

State Government Reporter

Max covers the state capital, bringing more than a decade of experience in print and public radio, including reporting for KPFA, KQED and KALW. He traces his news roots to working on his his high school newspaper.   Read Full Bio