Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 8, 2016 — California General Election
We depend on your support.
Invest in unbiased information

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

California State AssemblyCandidate for District 57

Photo of Rita Topalian

Rita Topalian

Small Business Owner
55,577 votes (37.3%)
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Preserving Prop 13 for hardworking homeowners and taxpayers.
  • Reversing the negative effects of Prop 47 (which re-defined crime and released many felons), thus, making it harder for law enforcement to protect the law-abiding public.
  • Strive to strenghten and improve education for the students of California through local control.



Self-employed attorney, Topalian and Associates (1995–current)
President and/or Member, Whittier Bar Association — Elected position (1996–current)
Field Representative, Senator Bob Margett (retired) (1996–2008)
Owner, Carousel Beauty Supplies (1978–1988)


Western State College, University of Law Juris Doctorate, Law (1992)
California State University, Los Angeles Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (1988)

Community Activities

Founding Member, Nairy Chapter, Armenian Relief Society (1967–current)

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific. 
Answer from Rita Topalian:

I support all cost-effective strategies to store and deliver water to where it is needed. We must carefully balance people's need for water vs. environmental issues. Fully developing the use of recycled water is a promising approach. Furthermore, we must continue the progress we have made in reducing all forms of smog in the 57th Assembly District.

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?
Answer from Rita Topalian:

Approval of annual state budgets are an opportunity for the legislature to prioritize needs versus resources. Every budgetary expense increase proposal must be paid for with identified and available resources.

There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Rita Topalian:

Governmental increases in the minimum wage is proven to have a negative impact on the number of available jobs for job seekers with limited education or expertise. Raising the minimum wage faster than market conditions warrant will reduce employment of those most needing a job.  

Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Rita Topalian:

One possible approach to slightly reduce the impact of money on politics would be for the legislature to pass AB2840 (by Lopez). Of course, that very small attempt to reduce free travel and hotel rooms for politicians was rejected recently. Until the people get fed-up with the legislature's corruption and special-interests relationship, nothing much is going to happen. Rejecting corrupt politicians is a critical first step.

Vote for Prop 50 in June! At least we the people should not be paying for three politicians' salaries and fringe benefits when they were suspended from the legislature after being charged in Court with corruption.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $143,468

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Employees of Stanford University
Employees of TOPALIAN, RITA H.
California Trailblazers
Los Angeles County Disposal Asociation
Employees of Colliers International
Employees of Enterprise Holdings

More information about contributions

By State:

California 96.15%
Colorado 3.05%
Montana 0.73%
Michigan 0.07%

By Size:

Large contributions (95.83%)
Small contributions (4.17%)

By Type:

From organizations (16.26%)
From individuals (83.74%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Who else is running?

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.