Speaker Toni Atkins was given the highest honor by her colleagues this spring when they elected her to become California's 69th Speaker of the state Assembly. A Democrat who spent eight years on the San Diego City Council, Atkins has long advocated on issues such as affordable housing for veterans and reducing homelessness. As Majority Leader, she was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Assembly floor and has served as a member of Speaker Emeritus John A. Perez's leadership team. In following Perez, California's first openly gay Speaker, Atkins becomes the first openly gay woman to serve in the role. Atkins is originally from southwestern Virginia and graduated from Emory & Henry College with a degree in political science with a focus on community organizing. She was first elected to the Assembly representing a San Diego-area district in 2010.
Congratulations to Andrew Erickson, Jennifer Parsons, Paayal Zaveri, Kaitlin Bane, Gregory Allen, Lynne Shallcross & Quinn Western the 2014 Journalism Scholarship recipients.