Study Group:

Martha Escutia

Spring 2023 Fellow, Center for the Political Future

As a first generation scholar to graduate from high school, college and law school in her immigrant family, former State Senator Martha Escutia is living proof that education is the great equalizer in American society.

Senator Escutia joined the University of Southern California in 2013, and currently serves as Vice President for State Government Relations and Special Counsel. She provides the university strategic advice to advance its institutional mission and academic interests. Prior to joining USC, Senator Escutia was in private practice as a founding partner of The Senators Firm and a partner in the national law firm of Manatt Phelps and Phillips.

During her 14 year legislative career (1992-2006), Senator Escutia became the first woman to chair both the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees. She distinguished herself for tackling tough problems and developing innovative solutions to promote broadband access; encouraging environmental remedies in transportation and energy infrastructure; banning junk foods from schools; and ensuring the judiciary was accessible to all litigants. The California Supreme Court honored her with its “Commitment to Justice” award for her exemplary service to the law and its citizens.

Senator Escutia is a Lecturer in Law at the USC Gould School of Law, where she teaches Environmental Justice and its Civil Rights Legal Implications. Her community work includes establishing Mock Trial programs in several Eastside high schools, coaching the students to compete at the LA County Mock Trial competitions.

Senator Escutia received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy.

Study Group: A Latina in Politics: Power Moves (and I Don’t Mean Salsa Dancing)

“Power unused is power abused.” — Speaker Willie Brown, 1993

Discuss real world examples of key legislation passed in California, which had a national impact. Focus goes beyond the typical legislative drafting and analysis and concentrates on the compromises and “power” moves which need to be made to keep a bill alive. The study group will also study an introduced bill and monitor it in real-time throughout the semester. Whenever possible, the author of that bill will attend the study group discussion.

Thursdays, 3 - 5 p.m. PT, SOS B15
Start Date: February 2, 2023
End Date: April 13, 2023
Apply for the study group with Martha Escutia