He attended Louisiana Sierra High School of the Alvord Unified School District, where he graduated as class valedictorian. He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor in Government in 1983. He later graduated with an Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside in 2010.
Upon taking office, Takano became the first openly gay non-white person in Congress. His family was relocated and interned from California to a "War Relocation Camp" during World World War World War II In high school, he also participated in the Junior State of America, a national student-run organization centered around debate and civic engagement in young people, and was elected the Lieutenant Governor of the Southern California State. He taught British literature in public schools for 23 years.
In 1990 he was elected to the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees and has served on that body since then
While on the board, he shepherded a measure that provided Riverside Community College employees with domestic partner benefits. Elections
= 1992 Takano ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives during the 1992 elections in the California"s 43rd congressional district.
During the campaign, Republican State Assemblyman Ray Haynes outed Takano, calling him a "homosexual liberal". Republican Ken Calvert defeated Takano by 519 votes, 47%-46%.
= 1994 In 1994, Takano defeated Raven Lopez Workman in the Democratic primary, 70%-30%.
In the general election, Calvert defeated Takano 55%-38%. = 2012 In July 2011, Takano announced he would run for the United States. House in the newly redrawn California 41st congressional district, established in the redistricting following the 2010 United States Census. Five candidates ran for the open seat.
In the June 2012 open primary, John Tavaglione, a Republican, ranked first with 45% of the votes.
Takano ranked second with 37%. In the November general election, Takano defeated Tavaglione 58%-42%.
Committee on Education and the Workforce
Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training
Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
Committee on Veterans" Affairs
Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (Ranking Member)
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
When Representative Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) circulated a draft letter opposing an immigration reform bill in 2013, asking for signatures, Takano marked it up in red pen like a high school assignment and gave it an F, with comments like, "exaggeration -- avoid hyperbole." This was followed (in 2015) by a similar response to an Op-ed, written by Senator. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), on recent Net Neutrality legislation.
In particular Republican Takano took issue with the Senator"s use of mixed metaphors "… brings together a perfect storm … the federal government wants to crash the party." and lack of factual evidence.
A member of the Democratic Party, Takano has served on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees since 1990. He was a member of the Republican Party through college, when he became a member of the Democratic Party. Takano became the first openly gay member of the House who is not white.