Councilmember Steve Madison Bio

Steve Madison
Steve Madison

Steve Madison was first elected in 1999 to represent District 6, which includes the beautiful West Pasadena neighborhoods above the Rose Bowl and in Southwest Pasadena, much of Old Pasadena, the Art Center College of Design, the Convention Center & Civic Auditorium, most of the Arroyo Seco, the historic Colorado Street Bridge, Huntington Memorial Hospital and the Tournament of Roses House (Wrigley Mansion). He was reelected in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2020, each time winning outright in the general election without the need for a runoff.  Steve has served as Vice Mayor, on the Council’s Economic Development & Technology Committee, Public Safety Committee and Legislative Policy Committee, the Pasadena Center Operating Company Board, the Multimodal Operations and Development Entity Board, the Youth Development and Violence Prevention Task Force, as Chair of the Council’s Special Committee overseeing the recovery of over $5 million in embezzled funds, and since 2009 he has been one of Pasadena’s three appointees to (and is former President of) the Burbank/Glendale/Pasadena Airport Authority Commission, which oversees the Hollywood Burbank Airport (formerly Bob Hope Airport) in Burbank.

During his 20 years on the Council, Steve has championed neighborhood protection and the preservation of Pasadena’s high quality of life; a vibrant commercial environment in the Central District; high quality municipal services, especially in the area of public safety; Pasadena’s “Green City” environmental initiatives; economic justice including raising the minimum wage and enacting tenant protections; and assisting the Pasadena Unified School District in ensuring every child in our community reaches his/her full potential. In 2000, Steve authored and secured adoption by the City Council of a resolution opposing the extension of the 710 freeway through Pasadena, and he repeatedly urged his Council colleagues to oppose the 710 tunnel, ultimately succeeding in 2015 when his motion passed and in May 2017 when the LA Metro board killed the tunnel project. Steve was the first Councilmember to advocate for a General Plan Guiding Principle in support of public education. During his time on the Council, Steve has hosted scores of district town hall meetings and numerous community-wide forums on climate change, El Niño, growth and development in Pasadena, homelessness, the 710 freeway, alternatives to the 710 tunnel and public safety.

A practicing trial lawyer and a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Steve is a partner with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in Los Angeles. He joined the firm after spending nine years as an Assistant United States Attorney, where he prosecuted federal criminal cases including major narcotics, political corruption and defense contracting fraud matters. He assisted in the prosecution of United States v. Koon (the federal criminal civil rights case arising out of the beating of Rodney King), and was lead prosecutor in United States v. Congressman Walter R. Tucker, III; he was commended for his work in both cases by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Steve taught for 10 years as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Southern California Law School, and he served as a Judge Pro Tem of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has repeatedly been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” and one of Pasadena’s Top Attorneys by Pasadena Magazine.

Raised in Northern California, Steve attended public schools and graduated from the University of Santa Clara with a B.A. in English before attending Boston College and USC Law Schools. In addition to his Juris Doctor degree he has a Master of Public Administration (with honors) from USC. Steve supports numerous nonprofit organizations in Pasadena and has served on the Boards of First Tee of Pasadena and the Pasadena Police Activities League. He is a graduate of the Pasadena Citizens Police Academy.