Entering his fourth term as of this writing, Jim Cooper has carved out a variety of roles in the California State Assembly. Aside from his recent committee positions, which are detailed below, Cooper has also served as both assistant majority leader and assistant whip for the assembly.
After narrowly receiving the most votes in the 2014 primary, Cooper has mostly cruised easily in his district’s elections, winning by 11 points that first year over fellow Democrat Rob Fong. He was re-elected by an average of about 34 points in the district’s elections in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
The 56-year-old Cooper served 30 years in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, where he rose to the rank of captain.
Cooper was present during the eight-hour crisis at a Good Guys electronics store in south Sacramento on April 4, 1991, where four southeast Asian immigrants took 39 customers and store employees hostage. The Sacramento Bee of July 14 from that year wrote of how Cooper, then an officer, delivered a bulletproof vest to the front of the store, shortly before officers stormed it, which was followed by the deaths of three of the four hostage takers, two store employees, and one shopper.
Cooper’s legislative website notes that he won a Bronze Star for Bravery for his actions during the crisis.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Cooper has strongly backed law enforcement as a legislator, opposing Prop. 47, which limited sentences for non-violent offenders.
AB 17: Cooper’s bill, which was introduced Dec. 7, 2020, would, according to the legislature’s website, “state the intent of the Legislature to amend” Gov. Code 1029, which prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a felony from working as a peace officer.
AB 664: Together with Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and Rob Bonta, Cooper introduced legislation in 2019 to amend worker’s compensation law for emergency personnel, reworking the bill in the spring of 2020 to make it applicable for COVID-19 responders. Even with the changes, the bill failed to gain traction, ultimately dying in November.
Public Employment and Retirement (chair)
Subcommittee for Budget No. 4 on State Administration
Subcommittee for Budget No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation
District boundaries and office locations
Cooley’s district spans southern and eastern portions of Sacramento County and northern San Joaquin County, including part of the city of Sacramento and all of the cities of Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi.