Mark Takano
Official portrait, 2023
Ranking Member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byMike Bost
July 8, 2016 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byCorrine Brown
Succeeded byTim Walz
Chair of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byPhil Roe
Succeeded byMike Bost
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byJerry Lewis (Redistricting)
Constituency41st district (2013–2023)
39th district (2023–present)
Personal details
Mark Allan Takano

(1960-12-10) December 10, 1960 (age 63)
Riverside, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (before 1983)
Democratic (1983–present)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
University of California,
WebsiteHouse website

Mark Allan Takano (/təˈkɑːn/ tə-KAH-no; born December 10, 1960) is an American politician and academic who has served in the United States House of Representatives since 2013, representing California's 41st congressional district from 2013 to 2023, and the state's 39th congressional district since 2023. A member of the Democratic Party, Takano became the first gay person of Asian descent in Congress upon taking office.

Early life, education, and academic career

Takano was born in 1960 in Riverside, California.[1] His family was relocated and interned from California to a "War Relocation Camp" during World War II.[2] He is Sansei, that is, the grandson of people born in Japan who immigrated to the United States.[3] He attended La Sierra High School in the Alvord Unified School District, where he graduated as class valedictorian.[4] In high school, he also participated in the Junior State of America, a national student-run organization centered around debate and civic engagement in young people, and was elected lieutenant governor of the Southern California State.[5] He graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in government in 1983[6] and from the University of California, Riverside with an MFA in creative writing for the performing arts in 2010.[7]

Takano taught British literature in public schools for 23 years.[2] He was a member of the Republican Party through college, when he became a member of the Democratic Party.[6] In 1990 he was elected to the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees.[8] While on the board, he shepherded a measure that gave college employees domestic partner benefits.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: 1992 United States House of Representatives elections in California

Takano ran for the United States House of Representatives in California's 43rd congressional district. He won a seven-candidate Democratic primary with 29% of the vote.[2][9] Republican Ken Calvert defeated Takano by 519 votes, 47%–46%.[10][11]


See also: 1994 United States House of Representatives elections in California

Takano defeated Raven Lopez Workman in the Democratic primary, 70%–30%.[12] During the campaign, Republican State Assemblyman Ray Haynes outed Takano, calling him a "homosexual liberal".[13] In the general election, Calvert defeated Takano, 55%–38%.[14][15]


See also: 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in California § District 41

In July 2011, Takano announced he would run for the House in the newly redrawn 41st congressional district, established in the redistricting following the 2010 United States census.[1] Five candidates ran for the open seat. In the June 2012 open primary, John Tavaglione, a Republican who sat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors,[16] ranked first with 45% of the votes. Takano ranked second with 37%.[17] In the November general election, Takano defeated Tavaglione, 58%–42%.[18][19] Takano became the first openly gay non-white member of the House.[2][20][21]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[22]

Caucus memberships

After Corrine Brown's indictment on July 8, 2016, she temporarily stepped down as ranking member of the Veterans Committee, leaving Takano as acting ranking member until the end of the 114th Congress.[25] When the Democrats took the House majority after the 2018 elections, Takano became the chair of the committee.


When Representative Bill Cassidy circulated a draft letter opposing an immigration reform bill in 2013, asking for signatures, Takano marked it up in red pen like a high school assignment and gave it an F, with comments like, "exaggeration – avoid hyperbole."[26]

Takano co-chairs the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus[27] and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,[28] the Congressional Arts Caucus,[29] the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus,[30] the United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus,[31] U.S.-Japan Caucus,[32] and the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus.

For his tenure as the chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee in the 116th Congress, Takano earned an "A" grade from the nonpartisan Lugar Center's Congressional Oversight Hearing Index.[33]

Political positions


As of 2022, Takano has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and an F rating from the Susan B. Anthony List for his abortion-related voting record.[34][35] He opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade, calling it "offensive and radical".[36]

Donald Trump

Takano supported both impeachments of Donald Trump.[37]

Gun control

Takano supports gun control efforts. In the wake of the 2015 San Bernardino attack, he criticized Congress for its inability to pass gun control laws, describing the shooting in San Bernardino as "the cost of inaction."[38]

Foreign policy

In March 2024, Takano criticized Israel's actions in the Israel–Hamas war.[39]

2020 presidential election

Takano endorsed Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary election,[40] saying Sanders "has a bold vision" and "can get things done".[41] After Sanders dropped out of the primaries, Takano endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden.[42]

Transgender rights

Takano is a supporter of transgender rights,[43] and was against the passing of H.R. 734: Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act.[44] Takano appeared in the film What is a Woman?, being interviewed by Matt Walsh. The interview broached the topic of trans bathroom use, to which Takano responded by defending his belief in transgender identities before abruptly exiting the interview. While exiting, he ignored Walsh's attempts to ask him what a woman is.[45]

See also


  1. ^ a b Goad, Ben (July 1, 2011). "Congress: Takano will seek proposed Riverside-area seat". Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Chris (December 22, 2011). "Takano on path to make history in Calif. race". Washington Blade. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Furutani, Warren. "Welcoming a New Generation of Nikkei Leaders," Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles). November 23, 2012; retrieved December 2, 2012.
  4. ^ "Meet Mark | Mark Takano: Teacher for Congress". Mark Takano. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  5. ^ "Notable Alumni of the Junior State of America". Junior State of America. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Harvard Grad Turns Democrat to Win Votes". The Harvard Crimson. October 21, 1992. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  7. ^ "Mark Takano, D-Calif. (41st District)". Roll Call. November 7, 2012. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Board Members". Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  9. ^ "CA District 43-D Primary Race – Jun 02, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "CA District 43 Race – Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  11. ^ "California House Race Could be a Soap Opera". Albany, Georgia. Associated Press. November 3, 1994. p. 2A. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  12. ^ "CA District 43 – D Primary Race – Jun 07, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Goad, Ben (September 21, 2012). "2012 Elections: Takano sees changed political landscape". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "CA District 43 Race – Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  15. ^ Morrison, Patt (November 11, 1994). "Snapshots of life in the Golden State. : In This Sleaziest of Races, Victor Won by a Mudslide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Riverside County Supervisors Marion Ashley and John Tavaglione say goodbye". Press Enterprise. December 11, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  17. ^ "CA – District 41 – Open Primary Race – Jun 05, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  18. ^ "CA – District 41 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  19. ^ Goad, Ben (November 6, 2012). "Congress District 41: Takano has double-digit lead over Tavaglione in nationally watched race". The Press-Enterprise. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  20. ^ David Crary, AP National Writer. "Record number of gays seeking seats in Congress". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  21. ^ Candido, Sergio N. (October 29, 2012). "Top 5 Gay National Races". SFGN. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  22. ^ "Mark Takano". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
  23. ^ "Hoyer Congratulates Leaders of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus for the 117th Congress". The Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. December 18, 2020.
  24. ^ "Caucus Members". US House of Representatives. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  25. ^ Horseman, Jeff (July 11, 2016). "Congress: Corrine Brown indictment makes Mark Takano ranking Democrat on veterans' affairs committee". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  26. ^ Rep. Mark Takano Corrects Republican Letter, Proves He Will Always Be A Teacher, By Rebecca Klein, Huffington Post, 07/12/2013
  27. ^ "Members". LGBT Equality Caucus. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  30. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  31. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  32. ^ "Members". U.S. – Japan Caucus. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  33. ^ "Congressional Oversight Hearing Index". Welcome to the Congressional Oversight Hearing Index. The Lugar Center.
  34. ^ "Congressional Record". NARAL Pro-Choice America. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  35. ^ "Mark Takano". SBA Pro-Life America. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  36. ^ "Rep. Takano Statement on the Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade | U.S. Congressman Mark Takano of California's 41st District". Mark Takano. June 24, 2022. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  37. ^ "Congressman Mark Takano Calls for Impeachment Proceedings Against President Trump". NBC Los Angeles. August 24, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  38. ^ Broverman, Neal (December 3, 2015). "San Bernardino-Area Gay Congressman Blasts 'Inaction' on Gun Control". Advocate. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  39. ^ Kampeas, Ron (March 2024). "6 House Dems, back from Israel, accuse Netanyahu of 'utter disregard for Palestinian lives'". Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
  40. ^ Moreno, J. Edward (March 10, 2020). "Rep. Mark Takano endorses Sanders". The Hill. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  41. ^ Rep. Mark Takano Endorses Bernie for President, retrieved December 16, 2022
  42. ^ "Rep. Takano Statement on President Joe Biden's First State of the Union Address | U.S. Congressman Mark Takano of California's 41st District". Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  43. ^ "Sen. Schatz, Rep. Takano, Rep. Lee Lead GLSEN Rise Up Resolution". GLSEN. March 29, 2023. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  44. ^ Migdon, Brooke (April 17, 2023). "GOP education committee chair: 'I don't know what a trans girl is'". The Hill. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  45. ^ Hayton, Debbie (June 17, 2022). "'What is a woman?': the trans film that makes for harrowing viewing". The Spectator. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byJerry Lewis Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 41st congressional district 2013–2023 Succeeded byKen Calvert Preceded byYoung Kim Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom California's 39th congressional district 2023–present Incumbent Preceded byCorrine Brown Ranking Member of the House Veterans' Affairs CommitteeActing 2016–2017 Succeeded byTim Walz Preceded byPhil Roe Chair of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee 2019–2023 Succeeded byMike Bost Preceded byMike Bost Ranking Member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee 2023–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byEric Swalwell United States representatives by seniority 141st Succeeded byJuan Vargas