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“Congratulations to Toni G. Atkins, Madame Speaker, as she is sworn in as the 69th Speaker of the California State Assembly. 

Speaker Atkins has proven to be a true leader and as proof of that, Assemblymembers on both sides of the aisle joined in voting for her.

I had the privilege of nominating her in March when colleagues praised her commitment to helping the homeless, supporting veterans issues and making affordable housing a top priority.

Her humble beginnings growing up in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia prepared her to appreciate the needs of the less fortunate and to give them a voice in the halls of power.

Atkins election marks a number of “firsts”:  she’s the first lawmaker from San Diego to hold the post, the first lesbian and the third woman.

I look forward to working with Speaker Atkins in the weeks and months ahead as she tackles some of the major issues facing California:  the water crisis, tackling the budget and growing California’s economy.” 

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