Melissa Melendez

Representative, California State Assembly, District 67



  • Taxpayer and Small Business Advocate
  • U.S. Navy Veteran and Intelligence Specialist
  • Wife and Mother of Five
  • Businesswoman
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Melissa’s story begins in her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, where she proudly enlisted in the United States Navy right after high school. After basic, she was chosen for a Russian language immersion course at the military’s Defense Language Institute in California.

After becoming fluent in Russian, she entered the reconnaissance and intelligence service for the US Navy. In this exciting new role, her mastery of Russian came in handy, as she was one of the first women ever to fly aboard the EP-3 reconnaissance and intelligence aircraft overseas.

She served her country with honor and distinction as a Russian translator for ten years during the Cold War, as well as during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While serving in the Navy, she received numerous awards and distinctions for strategic acumen, operational insight, professionalism and leadership skills. While serving in the Navy full-time, Melissa also attended college in the evenings, and received her BA in History and Political Studies.

After the multiple tours with the Navy, Melissa entered civilian life and started her own successful transcription company. This new entrepreneurial spirit thrived in a familiar place, as her new business contracted directly with the Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy, and many other high-level Pentagon officials. Armed with her MBA degree and focus from years service, Melissa emerged as a business leader in her Southern California community. She would go on to serve as a business-friendly city councilwoman and mayor of her hometown where she successfully passed regulation and tax holidays for small-businesses that led to an easing of burdensome regulations and a more sustainable local economy.

Melissa has five children with her husband, Nico, who works for the Department of Homeland Security. Nico is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served 25 years around the world. He proudly continues to serve today as a commander in an active naval reserve unit​.


  1. Vice Chair, California Assembly Insurance Committee
  2. Vice Chair, California Assembly Public Safety Committee
  3. Committee Memberships: Budget, Joint Legislative Budget, Public Safety, and Transportation



Californians are over-taxed
and under-serviced by their government.

In the Assembly my core focus is to lower taxes, cut regulations and reduce government spending. Period.
California Tax Rate
National Average

California has one the highest income tax and sales tax rates in the nation.

With major companies fleeing California for states like Texas and Nevada, it’s no wonder unemployment is so high.
Manufacturing jobs lost since 2000
Construction jobs lost since 2000


Government must stop spending more than it takes in. I am a strong proponent of a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. government and a tough spending cap for California’s government.

High Speed Rail Cost
Government must stop spending money on frivolous projects while our roads and schools deteriorate. I will continue the fight for spending policies that require every government program to justify its existence each year.
Cost of this video


Our State must provide for commerce and infrastructure, but Sacramento has mismanaged this task. I will continue to fight for more above-ground water storage and better water conveyance systems.

That includes suspending the endless, tangled maze of environmental regulations that invariably kill any new water project. I will also support the strengthening of private property rights, and reduce regulations on small businesses hiring employees to create more good paying  jobs.
More in regulation compliance cost for CA small businesses


California is aptly dubbed the “Salad Bowl” of America.

We should protect this source of prosperity; not allow the Federal Government to flush trillions of gallons of good water into the San Francisco Bay.
Gallons dumped into SF Bay since 2008


Government’s first and most important duty is to protect the public.

That’s why I prioritize public safety spending in all budget discussions.
I fully support the 3-Strikes Law, and I oppose Jerry Brown’s early release of prisoners program and Proposition 47.

Government’s core responsibility is to provide for the safety of it’s citizenry. Reducing the punishments for possession of date-rape drugs and theft of firearms is not a step in the right direction.

As a mother of five, I would be far more comfortable if our sentencing would end the revolving door at our prisons and jails. I will continue to fight to close these loopholes to protect local families.
I also support a one-strike law for sexually violent crimes and for sexual offenses committed against a minor. That is why I have vigorously fought provisions in Prop. 47 that reduce penalties for possession of date rape drugs and for theft of firearms.
The state of California has not invested in prison capacity in more than 20 years. Other states have put up canvas tents with fortified prison fences to remedy this problem. If our men and women in uniform can live in canvass tents in desert battlefields, then so too can prisoners who have committed crimes against society.
Convicts Released Early Per Month!
Sex Offenders Cut Off Their GPS Tracking Bracelets After Early Release Per Year


For the last decade, California public schools have consistently been ranked in the top-ten worst reading and math scores in the country.

California ranks 45/50 in the country in Math and Reading Scores.

Our abysmal test scores are a direct result of the failures of California bureaucrats and the unions they are beholden to. One size rarely ever fits all.

We must return spending and curriculum decisions to local school boards. Sacramento has a track record of failure and has no business telling us how to run our schools.
That’s why we elect local school boards – giving parents greater access to basic decision makers.
No matter the setbacks we face in the battle, I will remain resolute in my efforts to provide parents with greater control over their children’s future.
Students Below a 4th Grade Reading Proficiency
Students Not Proficient in 8th Grade Reading
Students Below a 4th Grade Math Proficiency
Students Not Proficient in 8th Grade Math


I fully support the 2nd Amendment. I believe all law-abiding citizens should be allowed to own a firearm.

Our brave police are primarily a reactionary force and when they’re are on their way to provide protection, you have a right to defend your family.

I fully support the U.S. Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller and believe that subversive efforts to undermine this right violate the Constitution. I am a proud member of the National Rifle Association.
Times a year a gun is used for self-defense
Average number of women who use a gun to defend themselves against sexual abuse each year

Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun,” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law


The state of our benefits programs for veterans and their families is woefully insufficient. Our nation’s bravest men and women deserve the respect, honor and support that their sacrifice has earned them.

“Men sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell
We consistently fail to pay the debt we owe to the brave men and women that defend our freedom.

That is why I authored legislation to expand benefits for service members and their families. We have a long way to go, but I am confident that we can bridge the remaining gaps in service in our local VAs.
I am also an outspoken advocate for greater research and resources for PTSD treatment. The invisible scars from the battlefield must be addressed here at home so that our men and women in uniform can fully enjoy their lives with their families.
Number Of Vets Receiving Treatment
Combat Troops Diagnosed with PTSD


POLITICO California Playbook: Gov. Brown’s Budget

Assembly Budget Cmte. Vice Chair Melissa Melendez
“Continued economic growth and new jobs for middle and low income Californians depends on good roads, improved water infrastructure designed to handle future drought…”
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Landmark California Gun Seizure Law Takes Effect Jan. 1 but Amid Concerns

The Guardian
Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez said she voted against the bill because she believed it violated due process by seizing guns without a hearing for 21 days.  She did successfully amend the law’s language to allow for a gun owner to sell or store their guns…
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EDITORIAL: Criminal justice reforms under fire in Sacramento

The Press-Enterprise
Worries about crime have some California legislators and local officials working to amend two landmark criminal-justice reforms of recent years. Proposition 47, passed by voters last November, reduced many felonies to misdemeanors
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CALIFORNIA: Gun-theft bill stalls in Assembly

The Press Enterprise
An Inland lawmaker’s bill that would have stiffened the penalty for stealing a firearm was shelved Thursday by an Assembly committee, effectively killing it for this session.
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Measures to alter Prop. 47 held back in Assembly committee

Los Angeles Times
Two measures seeking to restore tough penalties for crimes that were downgraded to misdemeanors after Proposition 47 passed last year were shelved in the California Assembly on Thursday.
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California Bills Reinstating Penalties for Some Crimes Fail

San Jose Mercury News
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A key legislative panel on Thursday shelved several attempts to scale back a ballot measure that California voters approved to reduce penalties for some crimes, including stalling a bill that would have made stealing
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“I look forward to staying in touch with you personally.”
– Melissa Melendez


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