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A Conversation with Assemblymember Robert Rivas

Event Details:

Wednesday, November 17, 2021
1:00pm PST



On November 17, Assemblymember Robert Rivas, representing California Assembly District 30, joined Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, for a conversation.



Assemblymember Robert Rivas has represented California’s 30th State Assembly Districtsince 2018. While still in his first term, he was appointed as Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and elected as Vice-Chair of the influential Latino Legislative Caucus. In the Assembly, Rivas’ first-term legislative achievements include securing enactment of the first-in-the-nation COVID-19 Farmworker Relief Package, which included critical efforts related to agricultural workplace safety, access to PPE and testing, temporary housing, and access to healthcare and the courts. He also co-authored the Farmworker Housing Act, which streamlines the process to build quality housing for farmworkers and their families and he continues to lead efforts to address the state’s housing crisis.

A long-time champion of the environment, Rivas won bipartisan support for the Oil  Transportation Safety Act, which updates safety standards and improves the state’s preparedness to protect coastal regions after a potential spill of non-floating oil. Rivas also authored and won passage of other significant legislation, including bills to improve bike safety, promote affordable housing on surplus state land, and ensure that the voices of low-income and minority communities are heard in key decisions. Rivas served two terms on the San Benito County Board of Supervisors prior to becoming an Assemblymember.

Rivas was raised in Paicines, California, where his grandfather was a farmworker at Almaden Vineyards. Rivas and his brother grew up in farmworker housing cared for by their single mother and beloved grandparents who emigrated from Mexico in the 1960s. As a child, Rivas watched his grandfather stand side-by-side with Cesar Chavez and the UFW leading the fight to win equal rights and fair contracts for farmworkers. For much of his childhood, Rivas struggled to overcome a severe stutter that rendered him almost speechless. It was only after years of speech therapy that he was able to overcome the disability. 

Rivas attended local public schools in San Juan Bautista and Hollister. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government from CSU Sacramento and later earned a master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University. A lifelong resident of the district,

Assemblymember Rivas lives in Hollister with his wife and their young daughter. 

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