Jordan Cunningham is the third person to have received the award

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham was recognized for his advocacy related to human trafficking on Thursday, Jan. 26, by SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow.

Cunningham was presented with the District Attorney Special Commendation Award during the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force meeting. This award was presented in recognition of Cunningham’s outstanding work in the California State Legislature from 2016 to 2022 to combat human trafficking through important new legislation. January has been designated (annually) as Human Trafficking Awareness Month by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

“It is my distinct pleasure to present Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham with the distinguished District Attorney Special Commendation award for his distinguished work to combat human trafficking and support survivors of trafficking,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “Jordan’s tireless effort and significant success, in spite of the challenging political environment, bring great credit upon Jordan and upon the residents in San Luis Obispo County who he has valiantly served. He is very deserving of this recognition.”


Assemblyman Cunningham was also presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors by Chairperson John Peschong, representing District 1.

Among the bills that Assemblyman Cunningham authored are the following:

  • AB 1735. Protective orders: human trafficking: pimping: pandering. Requires judges to consider issuing a protective order in all cases in which a defendant has been convicted of human trafficking, pimping or pandering.
  • AB 1868. Authorizes school districts to provide instruction, on the potential risks and consequences of creating and sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials through cellphones, social networking sites, computer networks, or other digital media.
  • AB 662. Crimes against minors. Changed the elements of the crime of enticing a female under the age of 18 into a house of prostitution to make the crime gender-neutral and thereby recognize the crime is committed against boys and girls.
  • AB 2009. Postsecondary education: training for drivers of commercial trucks: human trafficking awareness training. Require that human trafficking awareness training developed under the bill be incorporated into the curriculum of all community college programs that offer training for persons preparing for licensing and employment as commercial truck drivers.
  • AB 1788. Sex trafficking: hotels: actual knowledge or reckless disregard: civil penalty. Creates civil penalties for hotels, for instances of human trafficking that specified employees knew or recklessly disregarded activity on hotel grounds constituting sex trafficking.
  • AB 2408. Social media platform: child users: addiction. Makes social media platforms (such as Meta and Snapchat) civilly liable for negligently addicting child users by establishing a duty for a social media platform to not negligently addict child users by a) The use or sale of a child user’s personal data or; b) the development, design, implementation, or maintenance of a design, feature, or affordance. (This bill passed the Assembly; passed Senate Judiciary Committee, then died with no referral to the full Senate from Appropriations Committee.)
  • AB 2130. Emergency medical services: training: human trafficking. Requires every emergency medical technician-paramedic (EMT-P), upon initial licensure and upon licensure renewal, to complete at least 20 minutes of training on issues relating to human trafficking.

Cunningham was the only prior Deputy District Attorney serving in the State Assembly during his tenure and therefore was able to provide an important and practical perspective about the real impact of their proposals to his peers serving in the legislative body.

Mr. Cunningham has been previously recognized as 

“Legislator of the Year” during his tenure in Sacramento by several organizations including: the Federation of California Builders Exchange, the California District Attorneys Association, and the California Police Chief’s Association.

The District Attorney Special Commendation has only been awarded to two recipients since its inception. The Special Commendation is reserved to recognize distinguished service that demonstrates exceptional commitment to the safety of our community through advocacy and action that yields significant results.

In 2018, the first award was presented by District Attorney Dan Dow to San Luis Obispo Police Department Patrol Officer Quenten Rouse for his swift action during a routine traffic stop in October 2018 that freed a 14-year old victim of sexual slavery is in keeping with the finest tradition of our local law enforcement. The trafficker, Lucion Banks, is now convicted and serving 15 years to life in prison.

The second recipient was Jennifer Adams in June of 2019 on her retirement from RISE (now known as Lumina Alliance). Jennifer had served as an outstanding partner in assisting survivors of intimate partner and gender-based violence in San Luis Obispo County for over 20 years. She has since returned to the same work when she was asked to become the chief executive officer for Lumina Alliance in 2021.