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The first Latino to represent the San Fernando Valley, Cardenas is the youngest of 11 children born to Mexican immigrants.
Cardenas, whose constituents are mostly Hispanic, would like to see a comprehensive overhaul of immigration policy and would ìabsolutelyî support legislation that would create a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as youngsters.
In the California Assembly, he backed a similar law that allows illegal immigrant students to pay lower in-state tuition rates at the stateís public colleges and universities. Cardenas chaired the Assemblyís Budget Committee and later a Los Angeles City Council panel on business taxes. The self-described ìmoderateî on fiscal issues says his business experience taught him the value of responsible spending.
Anti-gang initiatives have been a priority for Cardenas, who backs an approach that pairs preventative and rehabilitative efforts with increased funds for policing and prosecuting gang activity.
As a city councilman, he advocated a community-based intervention model that served as the basis for federal legislation.
He chaired the city councilís Energy and Natural Resources Committee and backed plans to boost Los Angelesí use of clean energy and to convert its taxi fleet to fuel-efficient vehicles, experience he says could be useful on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
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