A send-off event for Congressman-elect Mark Takano drew about 125 friends and supporters to the Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties in December. Takano, who served on the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees for 22 years, will represent the new 41st California Congressional District, which includes Riverside City College and Moreno Valley College. During his time as a board member, Takano was an avid supporter of the Center, which houses The Okubo Collection, an arts and humanities archive by noted Japanese American artist and RCC alumna Miné Okubo.
Joining him at the event were his parents and other family members and the guest speakers included Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, Moreno Valley Mayor Richard Stewart, Community College League of California CEO Scott Lay, and RCCD Trustee Mary Figueroa. Special messages from RCCD Chancellor Emeritus Salvatore Rotella and former U.S. Secretary Norm Mineta were read, and Takano was presented with his academic regalia, a formal resolution of appreciation from the RCCD Board of Trustees, and a commemorative photo display of some of Okubo’s paintings. Current RCCD Chancellor Gregory Gray presided over the evening.
In his written remarks, Secretary Mineta cited Takano’s “growth in establishing himself as a visionary and dedicated policymaker and Public Servant” and predicted that Inland Empire residents “will continue to see his abilities and capabilities grow to tackle the myriad of public policy issues facing our great Nation.”
Mineta announced his intent to contribute to the Mark Takano Legacy Fund, established through the RCCD Foundation to raise private dollars in support of the Center and future programming. Scott Lay from the CCLC also praised Takano’s knowledge and commitment to community colleges, and presented a $1,000 inaugural gift for the Takano Legacy Fund.
In closing the evening, Congressman-elect Takano spoke about his family’s long history in the Riverside area. He recalled how his grandfather first came to the area, working as a farmer for a brief period and then as a gardener. His father attended Riverside Junior College, he said, which was Takano’s first introduction to the institution. Takano promised that, once in Washington, DC, he would remember his roots and where he came from, and keep pressing on the national level on the critical issues surrounding higher education and community colleges.
For more information about the Mark Takano Legacy Fund, click here