Assembly member's Swearing-in Encourages Optimism

by Rebekah Bruckner

Surrounded by family, friends, and elected officials, California’s new Assembly member to the 48th District Blanca E. Rubio, ’99, M.A. ’03 (D), took the oath of office before a standing-room-only crowd on January 28 at Azusa Pacific University’s Munson Chapel. She chose APU as the venue for her in-district swearing-in ceremony for the impact the university had on her life.

Michael Lizárraga, president and CEO of The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) and APU Board of Trustees member, introduced Rubio and served as master of ceremonies. Her children, Aiden and Nadia, led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by an invocation offered by David E. Bixby, Ed.D., APU executive vice president. Anthony Rendon, 70th speaker of the California State Assembly, administered the oath. Also present were Assembly member Cristina Garcia (D-58th) and Senator Ed Hernandez (D-22nd).

Rubio’s district includes the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, City of Industry, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, Monrovia, West Covina, and the San Gabriel Valley unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, East Arcadia, Ramona, Valinda, and West La Puente.

In her role, Rubio will work to provide her community with improved educational and career opportunities. Her commitment to educational equality began at an early age. A young immigrant from Mexico, her passion ignited when she witnessed her brother struggle in school to become proficient in English and maintain the educational access he deserved.

With encouragement from her parents, Rubio pushed past the obstacles to attain an education at Azusa Pacific University. Following a rewarding undergraduate experience where she earned a B.A. in Business Administration, she went on to complete an M.A. in Education with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, which propelled her into a career in education and public service. Rubio, who has 15 years of experience as a teacher for the Baldwin Park and Fontana unified school districts, has also served on the Baldwin Park Unified School District Board of Education and the Valley County Water District Board. With this vast personal and professional experience, she approaches her new role in the State Assembly with an educator’s heart.

The assembly member’s dedication to those she represents, inspires hope, including in APU student Diana Gutierrez ͐18 who attended the swearing-in and lives in Rubio’s district. “It was very impactful to hear Assembly member Rubio’s story. Every time someone told her she couldn’t succeed because of her ethnic and socioeconomic background, she came back stronger and refused to let anyone stop her. Her passion for her work encourages me to make a difference. It was incredible to hear from another Latina who also attended APU and has accomplished so much. She is an example of what I can achieve. Assembly member Rubio goes above and beyond to serve her family and her community by doing what she does best: fighting for what she believes in and those she loves.”

Rebekah Bruckner '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a English major and a graphic design minor.