Republican Assemblyman Bill Essayli may be the person California Democrats fear most. Essayli recently visited the Bay Area to address SPARC, the Silicon Valley chapter of the California Congress of Republicans. There Essayli described how Democrats in the California Legislature refused to schedule a hearing on AB 1314, his proposal to write parental rights into the California Education Code.
Undeterred, Essayli focused on building a statewide coalition to advocate for parental rights. He wrote a model school board policy that could be adopted locally, based on his state legislative proposal. A version of that policy has now been adopted by seven California school boards. The model policy requires school districts to notify parents when a student requests to be identified or treated as a gender other than the student’s biological sex or gender as listed on the student’s birth certificate or other official records.
In an unprecedented action, the California Attorney General sued the Chino Valley Unified School District for adopting a parental notification policy based on Essayli’s model. Essayli responded “The California Attorney General officially declared war on every parent in the state of California. The fact that he is spending taxpayer resources on suing school districts for providing information to parents is remarkable and inconsistent with a century of Supreme Court precedent holding that parents have a constitutional right to raise their children without government interference.”
Essayli began his career in public service as a Deputy District Attorney in Riverside, California and then as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California. As a federal prosecutor, Essayli brought justice to victims of violent and organized crime, identity theft, bank fraud and securities fraud. Another of his cases involved the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in 2015 that tragically led to the deaths of many American citizens.
Essayli first ran for Assembly in 2018 against incumbent Democrat Sabrina Cervantes. He performed so well that, following redistricting, he was asked to run in the new 63rd Assembly District in 2022 where he now serves.
Essayli is also a small business owner working in private practice as an estate planning attorney with the law firm of Essayli & Brown. Bill is the son of Lebanese-American immigrants and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He received his undergraduate degree from the Kellogg Honors College of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and his law degree from Chapman University School of Law. He is the first American Muslim to be elected to the California State Assembly.