Robert Rivas’ commitment to fighting for the most vulnerable is driven by his own experiences growing up in farmworker housing. Inspired by his farmworker and labor activist grandfather, Robert has led a life dedicated to public service, as a teacher, firefighter, County Supervisor, State Assemblymember, and now a historic Speaker of the California State Assembly.
Today, Speaker Robert Rivas is fighting to make the California Dream real for all.
Robert Rivas is deeply influenced by his grandfather, a migrant farmworker who fought alongside Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta to deliver important labor protections for his fellow farmworkers.
Robert believed that by dedicating his life to public service, he could honor what his grandfather had done for their community. After earning a degree in government and a Master’s in Public Administration, Robert worked as an on-call firefighter. He later taught college and served as a high school job training coordinator.
In 2010, Robert was elected to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, where he stood up for what’s right, even when it wasn’t popular. He went toe-to-toe with Big Oil to pass a historic, countywide ban on the dangerous practice of fracking. And he took on the homophobia that had long simmered in his community, raising the pride flag and calling on his neighbors to open their hearts to change.
In 2018, Robert was elected to the State Assembly. There, he earned a reputation as a skilled, collaborative legislator, who listened and sought common ground. And he made major progress on critical issues–from affordable housing to healthcare, the environment, and education.
Robert’s colleagues elected him Speaker of the Assembly in 2022. Today, Robert feels humbled to lead one of the most diverse legislative bodies in history.
Robert Rivas is the first Speaker raised in farmworker housing. He knows he is living proof that the California Dream endures. He also knows the title of Speaker means little unless he does the good work to make that Dream more real for everyone.
Robert and his wife Christen live in Hollister with their 7-year-old daughter.