Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 35

Photo of Warren T. Furutani

Warren T. Furutani

117,455 votes (46.5%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • The Economy
  • Education
  • The Environment



Warren Furutani has dedicated his life to the fight for equal opportunity, community empowerment, and economic growth.

As a civil rights activist, school counselor, college administrator, and member of the LA Community College Board, LA School Board, and State Assembly, Warren has built a legacy of service for communities in Los Angeles. Over the course of his career, he led the charge to provide millions of dollars for the construction of LA public schools and community colleges; he helped ban abuses in the public pension system; and he helped improve job training programs for young people.

Now Warren is a candidate in California’s 35th Senate District, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington, North and West Long Beach, Harbor City, the Harbor Gateway (where Warren lives), Carson and West Carson, Torrance, Gardena, Compton, Lawndale, Lennox, Inglewood and Hawthorne.

Furutani has lived in the district most of his life and has worked in the district for his entire political career. During his previous stints in elected office, he represented nearly two thirds of the area encompassed by the Senate District.

As a civil rights activist, Warren worked to establish admissions programs for students of color at colleges and universities throughout the United States. He helped many campuses establish ethnic studies programs and was instrumental in the creation of Asian American Studies programs at UCLA and California State University, Long Beach.

In the mid 1970's Warren worked as a counselor at the Central Continuation High School in Downtown Los Angeles. He later joined the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, where he developed programs to recruit, mentor and tutor student, as well as encourage them to be active in community service.

In 1987, Warren became the first Asian Pacific Islander American elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education – the largest school district in California. In 1999, he was elected to the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees – the largest community college district in the country. In both those positions, he brought parents, teachers, staff and the community together to develop “school based management” to improve schools. He was an early and strong advocate for the LAUSD and LACCD construction bonds, which directed millions of dollars into repairing and building new schools and remodeling and constructing new facilities on our community college campuses.

Warren subsequently served three terms in the California State Assembly. He chaired the Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security committee, where he introduced pension reform measures to end the abusive practices of pension spiking and double dipping. He also chaired the Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Workforce Development, where he focused on preparing students with the training they need for 21st century careers.

Warren's work in the Capitol included legislation related to career technical education, community colleges, clean air quality, and support for small businesses. He also successfully advocated for state resources to help rebuild the Gerald Desmond Bridge in the Port of Long Beach, which is expected to generate 4,000 jobs in the next five years.

Born in San Pedro and raised in Gardena, Warren is fourth-generation Japanese American. During World War II, Warren's grandparents and father were forced to leave their home in San Pedro and sent to a concentration camp in Rohror, Arkansas. Warren's mother and father met while in the camp, and his father was drafted into the military while still incarcerated. After the war, his parents married and returned to San Pedro to start their family.

Warren is a product of the Los Angeles public education system. He graduated from Gardena High School in 1965. He graduated from Antioch University with a liberal arts degree. He is married to Lisa Abe Furutani and they are the proud parents of two grown sons and one granddaughter.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $672,023

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

California Federation of Teachers
Employees of NCR Corporation
IUOE State Unit 12
Employees of State of California

More information about contributions

By State:

California 95.74%
District of Columbia 2.28%
Maryland 0.70%
New Mexico 0.31%
Other 0.97%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.15%)
Small contributions (2.85%)

By Type:

From organizations (39.78%)
From individuals (60.22%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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