Pete Aguilar

Pete Aguilar
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Gary Miller
Mayor of Redlands, California
In office
December 7, 2010[1]  December 2, 2014
Preceded by Pat Gilbreath[2]
Succeeded by Paul W. Foster
Redlands City Councilman
In office
April 19, 2006[3]  December 15, 2014[4]
Preceded by Susan Peppler[3]
Succeeded by John James[5]
Personal details
Born Peter Rey Aguilar[6]
(1979-06-19) June 19, 1979
Fontana, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alisha Aguilar
Residence Redlands, California
Alma mater University of Redlands
Religion Roman Catholicism[7]
Website Rep. Peter Aguilar

Peter Rey "Pete" Aguilar (born June 19, 1979) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative for California's 31st Congressional District. A Democrat, he served as the Mayor of Redlands, California from 2010 to 2014 and as the President of the Inland Empire Division of the League of California Cities.[8] Aguilar served on the Redlands City Council from 2006 until his election to Congress.


Aguilar was born in Fontana, California and grew up in a working-class family in San Bernardino, California.[9] He attended the University of Redlands, where he graduated with degrees in Government and Business Administration.[10] He has lived in Redlands, California since 1997, with his wife Alisha. Together they have two sons.[11]


Aguilar began his career in public service in 2001 when California Governor Gray Davis appointed him Deputy Director of the Inland Empire Regional Office of the Governor, eventually becoming the Interim Director. In 2006, Aguilar became the youngest member of the Redlands City Council in the city's 126-year history when five council members, Democrat and Republican, picked him out of 11 candidates to fill an open seat. He was elected a year later, his first election. His fellow council members appointed him mayor in 2010 and again in 2012.[12][13] As Mayor, Aguilar was regarded for his professionalism, leadership during difficult financial times, balancing the city budget while building financial reserves, road improvements, government transparency, and fair treatment of municipal employees.[4][14] Aguilar served as mayor and councilman until December 2014.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives


California's 31st congressional district became more favorable for the Democratic Party as a result of redistricting following the 2010 Census.[16] The Cook partisan voting index rates the district D+5. In January 2012, Aguilar announced he would run for the seat held by incumbent Republican Gary Miller.[17] Although the top Democratic vote-getter, with 22.6% of the vote, he finished behind Miller and Robert Dutton, the California State Senate Republican Leader. Because of California's open primary, both Republicans advanced to the November general election.[18] In March 2013, Aguilar announced he would run again for election from California's 31st congressional district.[19] In the June 2014 primary, Aguilar finished second, qualifying for the November general election[20] where he defeated Republican Paul Chabot with 51.4% of the vote.[21] Aguilar defeated Chabot again in the 2016 general election with 54.9% of the vote.[22]


California's 31st congressional district, which Aguilar has represented since 2015.

Aguilar's time in Congress has focused on job creation, unfair trade practices, immigration reform, gun control, national security, LGBT issues, veteran affairs, drug prevention, student loan debt, and environmental protection. Aguilar has supported legislation to attract individuals in the cybersecurity field to join the military;[23] prevent discrimination against LGBT people by government contractors;[24] provide funding for homeless veterans;[25] and provide funding for research into opioid addiction.[26] He has introduced the Grace Period Alleviation (GPA) Act, which would give college graduates an optional grace period before beginning to repay certain types of loans.[27] With Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Congressman Paul Cook, Aguilar introduced legislation to protect the habitat along the Santa Ana River.[28]

Job creation

Aguilar released a job-creation initiative for his district that includes cutting taxes on small businesses, investing in infrastructure, expanding job-training programs, expanding Pell Grants, increasing the minimum wage, and equal pay for women.[29] He has introduced a number of bills into Congress focusing on small businesses, including legislation to provide tax credits to small businesses for on-the-job training expenses (On-the-Job Training Tax Credit Act of 2015),[30] tax credits for small business for full-time newly hired employees (Small Business Jobs Act of 2015),[31] legislation to make it easier for small businesses to repay loans (Small Business Lending Assistance Act of 2016),[32] and legislation making it easier for small businesses to advertise job openings (JOBS Act).[33] Aguilar annually hosts a jobs fair that connects job-seekers with employers in his district.[34]

Trade policy

Aguilar introduced the Displaced Jobs Relief Act, which increases authorization of funds for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program (TAA-F) to help businesses that have been negatively impacted by trade. He has urged the United States International Trade Commission to find that imported steel subsidized by Korea, Mexico and Turkey creates unfair competition and hurts steel manufacturers in his congressional district.[35]


Aguilar supports expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented children, creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, and executive actions taken by President Barack Obama.[36] Aguilar introduced the Academic Success Centers and Education Networks for Dreamers (ASCEND) Act, which would establish grants for college and university programs and services to benefit undocumented students.[37] However, Aguilar voted in favor of legislation that would effectively halt the resettlement of refugees from Syria and Iraq to the United States, citing national security concerns.[38]

Gun control

The 2015 San Bernardino attack took place in Aguilar's congressional district.[39] Aguilar has advocated for reforms to curb gun violence[40][41] by closing loopholes that terrorists have used to obtain guns[42] and banning assault weapons.[43] He has also worked closely with law enforcement and local, state and federal officials and agencies to help communities recover costs incurred from the emergency response to the attack.[44] Following the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Aguilar participated in the 2016 United States House of Representatives sit-in to show support for gun-safety legislation.[45]

Committee assignments

Aguilar is a member of the following congressional caucuses: Pro-Choice Caucus, LGBT Equality Caucus, Latino-Jewish Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, Work for Warriors Caucus, Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, Veterans Jobs Caucus, Former Mayor Caucus, Wine Caucus, Native American Caucus, Steel Caucus and the Hunger Caucus.[46]


  1. Lovell, Chantall M. (2013-05-28). "New council, mayor". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  2. Santschi, Darrell R. (2010-11-03). "Mayors defeated in Colton and Redlands". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  3. 1 2 Glenn, Stacia (2006-04-19). "Council selects Aguilar". Redlands Daily Facts. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  4. 1 2 "Pete Aguilar resigns from Redlands City Council".
  5. Emerson, Sandra. "Redlands City Council selects John James to fill vacancy".
  6. "AGUILAR, Peter Rey, (1979 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  7. "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". Pew Research Center. January 5, 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  8. Unknown. "About the Inland Empire Division of the League of California Cities". League of California Cities. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  10. "City Elected Officials Information Page". City of Redlands. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  11. "Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31)". Tea Party Cheer. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  12. Gamboa, Suzanne. "Young Latino Mayor Pete Aguilar Could Turn a Red House Seat Blue".
  13. Sears, Jan. "Redlands: Council elects new mayor". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  14. Tenorino, Gina. "Redlands Mayor Aguilar Announces Second Congressional Run".
  15. Emerson, Sandra. "Pete Aguilar resigns from Redlands City Council".
  17. Goad, Ben. "Elections: Redlands mayor announces congressional bid". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  18. Nathan L. Gonzale (March 18, 2013). "On the Trail: After 2012 disappointment, Aguilar readies re-run". Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  19. Cappis, Greg (April 1, 2013). "Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar announces another bid for Congress". The Redlands Daily Facts.
  20. Hagen, Ryan (June 5, 2014). "Democrat Pete Aguilar advances to general election in 31st Congressional District". The Redlands Daily Facts.
  21. "California Election Results 2014: House Map by District, Live Midterm Voting Updates".
  23. "Aguilar Passes Critical Cybersecurity Amendment through House of Representatives".
  24. "Aguilar Passes National Security Amendments through House of Representatives".
  25. "Aguilar Announced Federal Funds to Combat Veteran Homelessness in San Bernardino County - California RealEstateRama".
  26. "Aguilar Supports Bipartisan Measures to Combat Opioid Epidemic".
  29. "Aguilar Highlights Job-Creating Initiatives One Year After Jobs Plan".
  36. Aguilar, Pete. "Immigration policy, rhetoric need improvement".
  38. Times, Los Angeles. "Inside the Syrian refugee vote: California representatives explain what shaped their votes".
  39. Wire, Sarah. "A shooting back home: Congress reacts to another tragedy".
  40. "Aguilar Calls for Commonsense Reforms to Curb Gun Violence".
  41. Wire, Sarah. "California Democrats push Congress, again, for gun control votes".
  42. Horseman, Jeff. "Pete Aguilar joins call for closing 'terrorist loophole'".
  43. "In Case You Missed It: Reducing gun violence is not a partisan issue". 23 February 2016.
  44. "Aguilar Reflects on San Bernardino Community Six Months After Terrorist Attack".

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gary Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st congressional district

January 3, 2015  present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ralph Abraham
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Rick W. Allen
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