Assemblymember Tom Ammiano
Tom Ammiano is a long-time San Francisco Democratic leader who has served the city nearly three decades as a teacher, civil rights leader, educator, Supervisor and now State Assemblymember. A native of New Jersey, Tom earned his B.A. from Seton Hall and his Masters Degree in special education from San Francisco State University. He taught English to children in South Vietnam as part of a Quaker program until 1968, when he returned to San Francisco to become a public school teacher shortly after the Tet Offensive.
In 1975, he became the first public school teacher in San Francisco to make his sexual orientation a matter of public knowledge. In 1977, Ammiano founded the movement (No on 6) against the Briggs Initiative, an effort to ban all gay people from teaching in California, with activists Hank Wilson and Harvey Milk. The anti-Briggs movement was successful in defeating the initiative in 1978.
Tom was elected to the San Francisco School Board in 1990, where he served until 1994 and was elected President of the School Board. In 1994, Tom won citywide election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In 2000, after the institution of district elections, Tom was elected District 9 Supervisor, and he represented the Mission District, Bernal Heights and Portola neighborhoods until his election as the Assemblymember for AD-13 in the fall of 2008.
Among his accomplishments on the Board of Supervisors is the creation of the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance, which made San Francisco the first city in the nation to provide universal healthcare access. Ammiano is also the main architect of the city's Domestic Partners Ordinance, which provides equal benefits to employees and their unmarried domestic partners. It also requires companies that do business with the City and County of San Francisco to provide the same benefits.
He served as President of the Board of Supervisors from 1998 to 2002. In addition to serving on the Board, Tom served on the Golden Gate Bridge Board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
His first term in the Assembly has been driven by the same belief in reform and good government as his time on the Board of Supervisors. Taking on the failed war on drugs, he introduced a landmark marijuana regulation bill, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act (AB 390) which would create a regulatory structure similar to that used for beer, wine and liquor, permitting taxed sales to adults while barring sales to or possession by those under 21. AB 390 was approved 4-3 by the Assembly Public Safety Committee concluding the first formal consideration of marijuana legalization in American history and the first to be passed by a legislative policy committee.
In addition, he has challenged the predatory equity investment practices of CalPERS and the loopholes of Proposition 13. To date, he has passed bills addressing the prevention of drug overdoses, allowing for electronic distribution of EIRs, improving wrap-around services for foster youth, decreasing costs in the criminal justice system and giving the Port of San Francisco the needed financing powers necessary to make the Pier 70 area one of San Francisco's most unique new neighborhoods.
Assemblymember Ammiano is the Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, a member of the Assembly Education Committee, Health Committee and Human Services Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the State Legislature’s LGBT Caucus and a member of the Environmental Caucus and the Assembly Coastal Caucus.
Visit Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's website: http://asmdc.org/members/a13/