Senator Charles M. Calderon started his public service in 1978 when he was elected to the Montebello School District Board of Education. At 29, he was the youngest trustee elected in the history of the district.

In 1982 he was the first Latino Lawyer to be elected to the State Assembly.

Later in 1990 Calderon was elected to the State Senate where he made history by becoming the first Latino Majority Leader of the Senate.