College of the Canyons professor Warren Heaton to challenge Sen. Scott WilkSebastian Cazares July 7, 2019 2 Comments
Immigration attorney, military veteran, College of the Canyons professor and adjunct faculty union leader Warren Heaton has launched his campaign to challenge State Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) for the seat representing the 21st Senate District, which includes most of the Santa Clarita Valley, the Antelope Valley and Victor Valley.
Heaton currently practices immigration law with a focus on refugee and asylum cases. In addition to working at his law firm, Heaton also teaches as an adjunct history professor at College of the Canyons and is the chief negotiator for the American Federation of Teachers Local 6262, which represents part-time instructors employed by the Santa Clarita Community College District. As an educator and a lawyer, Heaton believes he has the experience needed to represent the 21st Senate District.
“[The 21st Senate District] is a diverse district and the voters deserve policies that serve both the rural and urban areas,” Heaton said. “From access to affordable healthcare, to building public transportation and affordable housing, to wildfire management, the district deserves a candidate who is part of the Democratic majority, a candidate that can shape policies to bring desperately needed funding back to our district.”
Heaton grew up in rural Kentucky and served in the U.S. Army after high school, where he worked as an interrogator and Russian translator. He later attended business school and earned a certificate in computer science and accounting. After working in various accounting and information technology positions, he worked in multiple senior managerial roles. At one point, he served as the Chief Operation Officer at a premier provider of Microsoft and Cisco Systems services.
“Having achieved a degree of financial security, I left the corporate world to finish my higher education,” Heaton said. “I went on to earn a [Bachelor of Arts] in Russian Studies and a [Master of Arts] in History from the University of Arizona, a [Juris Doctor] from the University of Maine and [a Master of Laws and Juris Doctor] from the University of San Diego.”
Heaton’s educational background, along with his experience as an immigration lawyer and educator, is one of the reasons he believes he is qualified to represent the district.
“I decided to run for State Senate because I believe that I can help shape policy that will improve the lives of Californians,” Heaton said. “From developing a public option for healthcare, to building infrastructure and affordable housing, to new funding formulas for education, these policies require someone with the insight necessary to produce effective legislation. I believe my experience and education have uniquely prepared me for this role.”
A Democrat, Heaton is running on a platform that includes providing a public option for California’s healthcare system, addressing the state’s housing shortage and costs, expanding infrastructure, educational reform that deals with student debt, teachers’ pay and addressing the number of full-time faculty at colleges, among other policies.
“California must lead the way in providing affordable healthcare, housing and education,” Heaton said. “Likewise, in this political atmosphere, California must stand as the first line of defense in fighting for individual rights and protecting the environment. California voters are demanding solutions to the problems that impact their everyday lives and they expect progress, right here, right now!”
Heaton’s full platform can be found at Heaton2020.com.
Sebastian Cazares is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and student at College of the Canyons. He was heavily involved in Speech, Model UN, Rotary Club and journalism during his high school years. Sebastian is deeply interested in local politics and excited to report on the issues that impact his community.