Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (DE-SOWN-YAY) was first elected to the Senate in 2008, and re-elected in November 2012. From his start in the Senate, he has taken a leadership role on a variety of key issues including government reform, labor, transportation, the environment, health care, local government, and public safety. DeSaulnier brings a breadth of experience to the Legislature and public service. In the Senate, DeSaulnier chairs the Transportation and Housing Committee. In addition he sits on the Senate Committees on Budget & Fiscal Review; Budget Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services; Energy, Utilities & Communications; Governance & Finance; and Health. DeSaulnier’s top legislative priority is seeking greater accountability and oversight throughout our state government. He has been a strong voice for reform, seeking to make government more accessible and transparent to all Californians. He previously chaired the Senate Select Committee on Excellence and Innovation in State Government, and the Select Committee on Improving State Government—holding hearings on constitutional, initiative, and governmental reform throughout the state. Prior to being elected to the Senate, DeSaulnier was elected to the State Assembly in 2006 where he served one term. In the Assembly, he received the distinction of being the first freshman in history to chair the Assembly Transportation Committee. He also chaired the Select Committees on Growth Management and Air Quality. He authored and co-authored more than 60 bills during his term in the Assembly. DeSaulnier championed several local issues including the Expansion of Highway 4, BART to eastern Contra Costa County, and the development of a fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, DeSaulnier earned his BA in History from the College of the Holy Cross. As a young man in Massachusetts, DeSaulnier worked for the Boston juvenile court, as a warehouse worker, and as a hotel services employee. DeSaulnier was a member of both the Teamsters International Union and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union. In the early 1970s DeSaulnier moved to California and eventually settled in Concord. Over the next 35 years, DeSaulnier would own and manage several successful Bay Area restaurants. DeSaulnier has been a small business owner most of his career.