From humble beginnings -- to the American Dream

TOGETHERNESS -- Ted W. Lieu with his wife, Betty, and sons Brennan and Austin

Looking for a better life and opportunity for their children, Ted Lieu's family immigrated to the United States when Ted was three years old. Starting off living in someone's basement and selling gifts at flea markets to make ends meet, the Lieu family cobbled together the American dream.  After many years of perseverance his parents were eventually able to expand to six stores.  With the support of hard-working parents and a country that provided limitless opportunity, Ted would go on to attend Stanford for his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Political Science, and then Georgetown University, where he received his law degree magna cum laude after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. Ted also received four American Jurisprudence Awards.

Recognizing the great opportunities America had given to his family, Ted wanted to serve his country. He joined the United States Air Force, where he served as a prosecutor in the JAG corps.  After serving on active duty for four years, Ted wanted to continue to serve his country and joined the reserves. Currently, Ted wears a uniform in the JAG corps and was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Ted has received numerous medals for his outstanding military service, including the Air Force Humanitarian Service Medal and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Military service brought Ted West

Ted's service at Los Angeles Air Force base is what brought him to Southern California. Professionally, Ted clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced civil law at Munger, Tolles & Olson, and then worked in the private sector before he joined the Legislature. Locally, Ted continued to serve his community. Ted served on the Rampart Independent Review Panel, the Torrance Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation Commission, and was later elected to the Torrance City Council. When the local Assemblymember passed away suddenly in 2005, Ted was overwhelmingly elected in a special election.

Legislative overview

While serving three terms in the Legislature, Ted was a leader in standing up to Wall Street's excesses, reforming the subprime mortgage industry, increasing green buildings, reducing global warming, protecting public safety, and preventing domestic violence. Ted has repeatedly stood up to powerful interests on behalf of consumers, crime victims, seniors, children, and those without a voice.

In 2013, for example, nearly two dozen of his measures were adopted or signed into law, including bills to create jobs, improve career training and protect consumers. Read a complete list HERE:

In 2012, for example, the governor signed 13 of the 15 Lieu bills that reached his desk, including the first-in-the-nation ban on sexual orientation conversion ‘therapy’ for gay children under 18 and a halt to using packs of dogs to hunt either bears or bobcats. He also won better protections from disruptive protests at military and civilian funerals, and helped protect against fraud and abuse in the California National Guard. As a result of his environmental legislation, the Coastal Conservancy was able to award over $3 million in climate change adaptation grants to organizations and communities.  For a complete list, click HERE:

In 2011, laws he sponsored helped create jobs, save taxpayer dollars and protect children by banning anyone under 18 from using cancer-causing tanning beds. More at www.senate.ca.gov/lieu

In recognition of his hard work, Governing Magazine, a national publication on policy and governance, in 2011 for the second consecutive year named him one of the 12 top lawmakers in the nation as ‘worth watching’ and the only Californian.

He also has been honored for his work by the CA Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Crime Victims United of California, the California State Sheriffs Association, the American Legion of California, CalPIRG, Environment California, the Humane Society and many others. He served as Chair of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee, Chair of the powerful Rules Committee and as Chair of the Select Committee on Consumer Financial Protection.

The love of his life, his wife Betty, is a former California Deputy Attorney General. They reside in the city of Torrance with their two sons – Brennan and Austin.

Ted Lieu chairs the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and represents the more than 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glen, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.

-Updated 02-14-14 by ray

MEDIA CONTACT: Ray Sotero
Communications Director
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28
Capitol Building, Room 4061
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4028 office; (916) 834-1128 cell
www.sen.ca.gov/Lieu