Biography

First elected to the California State Assembly in November 2014, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th District, which includes Long Beach, San Pedro, Signal Hill and Catalina Island.

Assemblymember O’Donnell brings over twenty years of classroom experience as a teacher to his role as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. As Chair, Assemblymember O’Donnell consistently advocates for increased funding for K-12 schools, ensuring English learners have access to core curriculum, funding for career technical/vocational education programs, and expanding investments for school facilities.  He has also championed efforts to help close the student achievement gap – securing funding in the state budget to establish the CSU Center to Close the Opportunity Gap housed at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

Representing the two busiest ports in the nation, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, Assemblymember O’Donnell is an expert on the complex challenges and opportunities faced by the freight sector, supply chain and logistics industries. He has supported millions of cap-and-trade dollars for clean air efforts in and around the Ports while also protecting good-paying jobs and leading efforts to grow the maritime industry as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Ports and Goods Movement.

A recognized community leader in the 70th District, Assemblymember O’Donnell has introduced numerous bills that directly help his constituents, from setting aside millions of dollars to clean up oil wells and beaches to ensuring the City of Long Beach is able to accelerate the construction of sidewalk improvements to increase accessibility for people with disabilities. This year, Assemblymember O’Donnell introduced legislation calling on Congress and the United States Environmental Protection Agency to take action on the DDT chemical waste site off the north coast of Catalina Island. A staunch advocate for protecting natural resources and our oceans, he has also supported local efforts to preserve open space and clean up our river and ocean waters to prevent further environmental damage.  In 2018, Assemblymember O’Donnell obtained state funding for CSULB to conduct shark research and beach safety campaigns. The CSU Long Beach Shark Lab has received national recognition for its pioneering work on shark behavior and the impact human activity has on the ocean.

In addition to his appointment as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Assemblymember O’Donnell also serves on the Assembly Committees on Transportation, Public Employment and Retirement, and Budget, including the Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. Through these positions, Assemblymember O’Donnell advocates for a balanced budgeting approach that exercises restraint and pays down long term debt, such as employer PERS/STRS pension liabilities.

Assemblymember O’Donnell is a longtime teacher and a former member of the Long Beach City Council. Born in Long Beach, Assemblymember O'Donnell graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in History and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He lives in the Los Altos neighborhood with his wife and their two daughters.