From left: Darlene Kuba, owner of Kuba & Associates, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, Attorney General Rob Bonta, JANM Board Chair William Fujioka and JANM Chief Operating Officer Rick Noguchi.

By ELLEN ENDO, Rafu Shimpo

Newly elected California Attorney General Robert Bonta brought his inauguration ceremony to Los Angeles on March 5 as 300 friends, supporters, and elected officials witnessed Mayor Karen Bass administering the oath of office at the Japanese American National Museum.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Chief Anthony Redblood Morales of the Gabrielino Band of Mission Indians, and newly elected Rep. Robert Garcia of Long Beach were among the guest speakers. 

JANM Board Chair William T. Fujioka reminded those present that the museum stands as a reminder of one of the most egregious civil and social injustices in American history.

In addition to the political dignitaries on hand for the event, CNN commentator Van Jones served as master of ceremonies and actress Tia Carrere sang the national anthem. Jones reminded those present, “This is an important moment in our history. Justice is on the line. Democracy is on the line. Respect for other people is on the line.”

But it was Assemblymember Mia Bonta, wife of the attorney general, who set the emotional tone for the inauguration.

“I can share that Rob believes fervently in women having full agency over their bodies because he is the father of daughters,” she stated. “He will fight hate so that every Californian can feel safe in who they are. Every day he is a partner to every Californian who seeks justice.

“He is the son of California. He is the people’s attorney, and today we get to stand with someone who will always stand beside us as he takes the solemn oath that is consequential for him because he knows what’s at stake for us.”

Tia Carrere sings the national anthem as CNN’s Van Jones looks on. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

Assemblymember Bonta represents the East Bay area of Northern California.

Rob Bonta, a former assemblyman, is the first Filipino American and the second Asian American (after current Vice President Kamala Harris) to serve as attorney general. He was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021 to succeed Xavier Becerra, who was named President Biden’s secretary of health and human services. Last November, Bonta was elected to a full four-year term.

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