John Laird (California)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 27th district
2 December 2002 – 30 November 2008
|Preceded by||Fred Keeley|
|Succeeded by||Bill Monning|
|Born||March 29, 1950 |
Santa Rosa, Cal.
|Residence||Santa Cruz, Cal.|
|Alma mater||Stevenson College of the University of California Santa Cruz|
John Laird is a politician from California, who represented the 27th district in the California State Assembly until 2008. A Democrat, Laird (along with Mark Leno) was one of the two first gay men to serve in the California legislature. Laird become one of the United States first openly gay mayors in 1983 when he took over the mayoralty of the city of Santa Cruz, California. The 27th district stretches from Santa Cruz County down through the Monterey Bay and down the coast to the San Luis Obispo county line.
Laird was raised in Vallejo, California, and educated in Vallejo public schools. Laird's parents were both educators. He graduated from Adlai Stevenson College of the University of California Santa Cruz in 1972 with an A.B. in Politics - and general college honors, honors from the Board of Politics, and honors on an undergraduate thesis on the history of water development in California.
Laird served for two years on the district staff of Representative Jerome Waldie, and worked during the summer of 1974 for Rep. Bill Gunter of Florida in his run for the U.S. Senate. Laird moved to Santa Cruz and joined the staff of the Santa Cruz County Administrator in 1974 and later served in the personnel and social services departments.
City Council and Mayor
In 1981, Laird received the most votes in a field of eight to be elected to a seat on the Santa Cruz City Council. He was re-elected as top vote-getter in 1985, serving until term limits ended his Council service in 1990. He was elected by the City Council to one-year Mayor's terms in 1983-84 and 1987-88. During his time on the Santa Cruz City Council he lead local governments in the fight against proposed offshore oil drilling and for the designation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Laird ran unopposed in the 2002 Democratic primary and easily won election to the California Assembly. Laird served as chair of both the Assembly Budget Committee and the Special Session Committee on Budget Process. He also served on the Judiciary Committee, the Labor and Employment Committee, and the Natural Resources Committee.
Before being elected to the assembly in 2002, Laird served as an elected member of the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees from 1994 to his election to the Assembly in 2002. He was re-elected to the assembly in 2004 and 2006 before being termed out in 2008. His election campaigns have often won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Potential State Senate Run
Laird has been widely discussed as a Democratic favorite for the California State Senate seat currently held by Republican Abel Maldonado, whom Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger named Lieutenant Governor in November 2009.
Laird has been active in the Santa Cruz community, serving as Vice-Chair of the City Charter Review Committee, a founder of the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, and a board member of the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce. He has been active on a variety of community boards.
He has been active with the lesbian and gay community, as a columnist for the Lavender Reader, a commentator on "Closet Free Radio", a founding member of the International Network of Gay and Lesbian Officials--and was an original board member of BAYMEC, the gay and lesbian political action committee for San Mateo, Santa Clara, Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. In the Assembly, he serves as chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus.
He also has served on the Santa Cruz Community Foundation's Advisory Committee for the Lesbian and Gay Grants Partnership. Laird lives on the westside of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores. He is fluent in Spanish.
- The Living Room Biographies
- Native Son: Good Times talks with Assemblymember John Laird about how he's tackling the big issues in Sacramento.
Bruce Van Allen
|Mayor of Santa Cruz|
|Mayor of Santa Cruz|
|California State Assembly, District 27|