Alejandro (Alex) Padilla, a Senator from California, was born in Panorama City on March 22, 1973 before graduating from San Fernando High School in 1990. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. A mechanical engineer, he was an aide to California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a political campaign manager and a staff member for California State assemblyman Tony Cardenas. Padilla served as a member of the Los Angeles city council from 1999-2006, as president of the city council from 2001-2006 and later as a member of the California state senate from 2006-2014. He was elected as California secretary of state from 2015-2021 before being appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate on January 18, 2021, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Kamala D. Harris, and took the oath of office on January 20, 2021.