|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 18th district
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2012
|Preceded by||Johan Klehs|
|Succeeded by||Rob Bonta|
August 13, 1967 |
Gwangju, South Korea
|Residence||Castro Valley, California|
|Alma mater||University of San Francisco
Golden Gate University
|Profession||California Director, American Public Health Association|
Mary Chung Hayashi (born Mary Chung, August 13, 1967) is a healthcare advocate and California Democratic politician, who represented 18th Assembly District in the California State Legislature. Mary Hayashi was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2006 and served 6 years until she was termed out in 2012. Mary served as a member of the leadership team for Assembly Speaker John Pérez, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, serving as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection. Previously, Mary Hayashi served as a member of the California Board of Registered Nursing and Commissioner on the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which was created to monitor the implementation of California Proposition 63 (2004). Mary Hayashi ran unsuccessfully for California State Senate in 2014 finishing third place in the race.
Early Life and Career
Prior to serving in the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi served as the Alameda County Coordinator in the winning campaign to pass California Proposition 63 (2004), which provides increased funding for prevention and treatment services in county and statewide mental health programs. Mary Hayashi served as a Commissioner on the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which was created to monitor the implementation of California Proposition 63 (2004). She is also a member of the Executive Committee for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership that helps guide the implementation of the goals and objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Previously, Mary Hayashi worked for several non-profit and philanthropic organizations dedicated to healthcare issues including the American Public Health Association, the Foundation Consortium for California’s Children and Youth, and the National Asian Women’s Health Organization.
Mary Hayashi served as a member of the California Board of Registered Nursing and as Chair of the Planned Parenthood Golden Gate Political Action Committee. She was also a board member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and Research!America, which successfully doubled the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health. She is a former board member of Girls Inc of Alameda County, and served as the honorary chair for their “Strong, Smart and Bold” annual luncheon.
Mary Hayashi’s remarkable journey from her childhood in Korea to prominence as a health care leader is documented in her book, Far from Home: Shattering the Myth of the Model Minority. She has been honored by diverse organizations for her work on behalf of minority health and women, from Redbook Magazine and Ladies' Home Journal, to Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center. Mary was named Legislator of the Year by the California Medical Association and the American Red Cross. She also received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club. Mary earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics from the University of San Francisco, and her Master in Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University. She lives in Hayward, CA with her husband Dennis Hayashi.
California State Assembly
In the Legislature, Mary authored a number of bills focused on health and education reform. Among her bills that have been signed into law is AB 25, a concussion safety bill that placed California alongside Washington as the states with the toughest return-to-play laws for student athletes.
Mary also authored AB 108, prohibiting health plans and insurers from rescinding an individual health insurance policy, protecting consumers from losing their health care coverage during the times they need it most. In addition, she authored AB 235, a mental health parity bill that requires insurers to cover treatment for psychiatric emergencies without prior authorization, and AB 509, which served as the catalyst for establishing California’s first Office of Suicide Prevention. She has also championed public education, authoring AB 142 to help increase funding for schools through changes to the California State Lottery.
See Legislative Highlights for more information.
LOCAL JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
AB 1386 - State Highway Route 238 (2009) - Chaptered into Law 
Settled a 40-year long dispute over the abandoned Foothill Freeway in Hayward. Revenue from the land sale will help fund transportation improvements including the $50 million Foothill Boulevard and Mission Boulevard upgrades. Transportation improvements are estimated to exceed $250 million and create hundreds of construction jobs benefitting the local economy.
AB 25 - Student Athletes Return to Play Guidelines (2011) – Chaptered into Law
Co-Supported by the National Football League, this bill protects student athletes by establishing return to play guidelines for student athletes who are suspected of suffering a concussion or head injury. Student athletes must receive a health care evaluation and written clearance from a health care provider and a legal guardian in order to return to play.
AB 142 - Increased Educational Funding through State Lottery (2010) - Chaptered into Law  Education is the key to opportunity and this legislation increased public education funding by $500 million through the State Lottery.
HEALTH & MENTAL HEALTH
AB 108 – Health Insurance Policy Rescission (2009) - Chaptered into Law 
Ensures that after 18 months of issuing an individual health insurance plan, the insurance company cannot rescind the contract.
AB 509 - Office of Suicide Prevention (2007) - Established through Executive Order
Created the Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP) under the Department of Mental Health. The OSP is charged with the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated approach to reduce the loss and suffering from suicide and suicidal behavior statewide.
AB 73 - Domestic Violence Prevention (2009) - Chaptered into Law
Allows Alameda County and the City of Berkeley to continue authorizing a fee of up to $2 for marriage licenses and other vital records in order to fund oversight and coordination of domestic violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution efforts.
AB 2904 – Child Mortality Review (2008) – Chaptered into Law Clarifies that the Board of Supervisors has the authority to access reports on cases of protected child mortalities throughout California. In the instance of an avoidable protected child death, the Board of Supervisors can help ensure that a similar incident does not happen again by implementing new policies and procedures.
After running a nearly $800,000 campaign in California's 10th Senate District Primary Election on June 3, 2014, Mary Hayashi came in a distant third. Her shoplifting conviction proved too damaging for her to overcome. During the campaign, a website was put up to highlight the shoplifting incident and features her mugshot as well as a timeline of the events following her arrest and conviction.
During the campaign, Hayashi repeatedly denied that she was responsible for the shoplifting incident, again citing a medical condition and distraction. To rebuke her argument, the actual surveillance video from the incident was posted, showing a woman that was neither hurried nor distracted during the incident. The video shows Hayashi calculatedly choosing articles to take into the dressing room, walking around the store for over an hour, all the while being followed by both cameras and security personnel. She was apprehended after she left the store.
In late October 2011, she was charged with felony grand theft after being caught on video surveillance allegedly shoplifting $2,445 worth of merchandise from San Francisco's Neiman Marcus store. Prosecutors said that Hayashi had taken the items into a dressing room, put them in a shopping bag, and walked out of the store. Her attorney and spokesman have stated that she had intended to pay for the items but became distracted by a cellphone call and a snack at the cafe and inadvertently left the store without paying. According to sources close to the case, a week before the Neiman bust, a store saleswoman noticed that a dress was missing after a woman matching Hayashi's description tried it on. The saleswoman did not know who Hayashi was, but when Hayashi showed up October 25, the clerk alerted store security and they began tracking her with surveillance cameras."
Hayashi subsequently pleaded no contest to charges of shoplifting in San Francisco Superior Court, reduced from the earlier felony grand theft charges. She was sentenced to $180 fine and three years probation and was ordered to stay more than 50 feet from the store. Her attorney suggested her actions may have been the result of a benign brain tumor.
Official Statement for Controversy
Mary Hayashi issues the following official statement in response to "unintentional shoplifting incident":
"I accept responsibility and I offer apologies, not excuses," Hayashi said in a written statement. She declined an interview request.
Shortly after the Castro Valley Democrat's arrest in October on a felony charge of stealing nearly $2,500 in clothing, Sam Singer, Hayashi's spokesman, said she had been inside a Neiman Marcus store and walked out of the store while talking on her cellular phone.
Following Hayashi's no contest plea—which means no guilt was admitted—her attorney Doug Rappaport said the legislator's behavior had been affected by a benign brain tumor that is curable, treatable and no longer is affecting her.
Hayashi, in her written statement today, did not address the severity of her tumor, when she was diagnosed, or what effect it had on her behavior.
"There were a number of personal factors that led to the situation where I made this absent-minded error," she said. "My medical condition may have complicated the situation, however, I want to be clear that I take full personal responsibility for my actions."
Hayashi said she is "taking steps to deal with my health" while continuing to serve as a legislator.
"After a lifetime of public service, this has been a painful experience -- but one of my own making," she said.
"The simple fact is I unintentionally walked out of a store with items I had not paid for. Of course, I intended to purchase what I had, but I didn't. Losing track of how fast you are driving is no excuse for speeding. And losing track of clothing I was purchasing is no excuse for walking out of a store without paying."
- "AB 25 - Student Athletes Return to Play Guidelines". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "AB 108 – Health Insurance Policy Rescission". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "AB 509 - Office of Suicide Prevention". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "AB 142 - Increased Educational Funding through State Lottery". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "AB 1386 - State Highway Route 238". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "AB 73 - Domestic Violence Prevention". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "AB 2904 – Child Mortality Review". California Legislative Information. California Legislative Information. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Richman, Josh (February 14, 2014). "Mary Hayashi rolls out her state Senate campaign". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- Sulek, Julia (May 16, 2014). "Mary Hayashi's shoplifting conviction looms large in Senate campaign". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- Mary Hayashi: I did not shoplift $2,500 worth of goods", San Francisco Chronicle, May 1, 2014
- Mary Hayashi Nieman Marcus Official Surveillance Video
- Mishak, Michael J. (October 28, 2011). "Assemblywoman charged with shoplifting at Neiman Marcus". Los Angeles Times.
- Gafni, Matthias; Vorderbrueggen, Lisa (October 28, 2011). "Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi charged with felony shoplifting". San Jose Mercury-News.
- Mattier and Ross (October 28, 2011). "Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi charged with shoplifting at Neiman Marcus". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Anderson, Mike (October 28, 2011). "http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Assemblywoman-Charged-with-Shoplifting-in-SF-132817133.html". NBC Bay Area (KNTV).
- Brain tumor cited in Hayashi shoplifting incident, ABC News, January 6, 2012
- Mishak, Michael J. (October 29, 2011). "Assemblywoman Hayashi facing shoplifting charge". Los Angeles Times.
- Steven Harmon (November 19, 2011). "Hayashi's political career, legacy in jeopardy with charges looming". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
- Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (November 27, 2011). "Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi on Neiman Marcus radar". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Assemblywoman pleads no contest to shoplifting; lawyer cites brain tumor". Los Angeles Times. January 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- Ho, Vivian (January 6, 2012). "Assemblywoman pleads no contest in shoplifting". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- "Mary Hayashi apologizes for 'unintentional' shoplifting". http://www.sacbee.com/. The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 5 November 2014.