Dennis A. Cardoza is currently a public affairs director, co-chair of the Federal Public Affairs Practice and chair of the California Public Affairs Practice at Foley & Lardner LLP, which is recognized globally for its achievements in the area of diversity. He advises a broad range of clients on legislative, regulatory, public policy, and advocacy matters, and has extensive policy experience with respect to water resources, banking, housing, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, education, and foreign affairs.
Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Cardoza served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s 18th District. His committee roles included serving four years on the powerful House Rules Committee. He was also a key member of the House Democratic Leadership Team. Mr. Cardoza served as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, where he played a leading role in the formation of the 2007 Farm Bill. He was a ranking member of the Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee of Livestock, Dairy and Poultry; a member of the Committee of Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific; a member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia; and a member of the Committee on Resources and its Subcommittee on Water and the Sciences.
Throughout his Congressional tenure, Mr. Cardoza assumed a leading role in advocating for fiscal discipline on the part of the government, serving as co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of House Democrats committed to fiscal responsibility and accountability for taxpayer dollars. He was also an advocate for homeowners facing mortgage difficulties following the housing crisis, and his work included authoring a modified version of the Housing Opportunity & Mortgage Equity Act and establishing a new congressional task force on housing stabilization.
Prior to his role in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Cardoza spent six years in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Rules Committee and helped found the Moderate Democratic Caucus. A number of organizations honored then-Assemblyman Cardoza as “Legislator of the Year” for his efforts to cut taxes, save family farms and promote education and children’s safety. He also served as a council member in the cities of Merced and Atwater in California.