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Assemblymember Bloom to Address SMC's Graduating Class Next Month

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By Lookout Staff

May 24, 2022 -- State Assembleymember Richard Bloom -- a staunch champion of environmental causes -- will be the speaker at the Santa Monica College (SMC) 2022 Commencement Ceremony on June 16, school officials announced Tuesday.

Bloom, a former Santa Monica mayor who is serving his final term in the legislature, will address the graduating class during a ceremony held virtually as COVID cases continue to rise, officials said.

About 1,000 of the 5,215 students who have earned a total of 7,952 degrees and certificates are expected to take part in SMC's 92nd Commencement Ceremony.

"This is the third cohort to emerge victorious during a global pandemic, from the necessity of taking classes via hybrid, flexible modes including both online and in-person instruction,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

“The graduating class has demonstrated courage, confidence, tenacity, motivation, and academic excellence in reaching this significant milestone.”

First elected to the 50th District of the California State Assembly in 2012, Bloom has "helped establish the most stringent protections in the country against the dangers of hydraulic fracking," college officials said.

He also has pushed for improved rail safety and oil spill response preparedness and introduced the strongest protections in the country against the use of rodenticides, which are harming wildlife at alarming levels.

In addition, Bloom has introduced legislation barring the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products that are contaminating rivers, streams and oceans.

Bloom served on the Santa Monica City Council for 13 years -- three times as mayor -- before being elected to the California Assembly in a hotly contested election in 2012.

He easily won reelection every two years, winning by more than 75 percent of the vote in 2020. Term limits bar him from running for re-election in 2024.

Bloom took many of the causes he championed locally to the State Capitol. These included banning single-use plastic products, increasing homeless services, boosting affordable housing and pushing for public transportation.

As a member of the Assembly he has served as Chair of the the Budget Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Energy, Climate Crisis and Transportation.

He has also served on numerous committees, including those on Higher Education, Business & Professions and Local Government.

Born in Philadelphia, Bloom grew up in Altadena and West Los Angeles and attended the University of California at Los Angeles and Berkeley.

He holds a B.A. in Communication and Public Policy, as well as a Juris Doctor degree. After law school, Bloom practiced family law for nearly 30 years and worked as the executive director for a nonprofit that assisted low-income and homeless clients.

Bloom and his wife, Robbie Black, a healthcare professional and administrator in Los Angeles, are longtime residents of Santa Monica. They have two grown children, Zac and Emmett.

The Commencement Ceremony will start promptly at 5 p.m. Families and friends from all over the world can go to to enjoy the ceremony, congratulatory speeches and “Move the Tassel Moment” for the graduates, school officials said.

The ceremony also features "Celebrating Student Success" remarks by SMC President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery and "Board of Trustees Remarks" by SMC Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Louise Jaffe.

It also features "Faculty Challenge" remarks by SMC Academic Affairs President Dr. Jamar London and "Greetings from Associated Students" by SMC Associated Students President Joshua Elizondo.

For more information on SMC’s 2022 commencement activities, visit

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