Bill Quirk

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Bill Quirk (William J. Quirk)
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 20th district
Assumed office
December 3, 2012
Preceded by Mary Hayashi (redistricted)
Personal details
Born (1946-09-08) September 8, 1946 (age 69)
Summit, New Jersey
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Hayward, California

Bill Quirk (William J. Quirk) is an American politician currently serving in the California State Assembly. He is a Democrat representing the 20th district, encompassing the southern East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to being elected to the state assembly, he was a Hayward city councilmember.

Quirk is the only rocket engineer to serve in the California legislature.[1] He has a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University (1970).

Quirk was a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for 26 years 1979-2005. In 1996, he helped break the deadlock in the negotiations of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty In the early '90s, he also showed that the plutonium parts of nuclear weapons could be reused. This resulted in the closing of the Rocky Flats plutonium fabrication facility near Denver. This removed the threat of a major environment disaster in the Denver metropolitan area. There had already been a major fire at the facility that had threatened to spread plutonium oxide across the metropolitan area.

In 2014, Quirk authored a bill that made it easier to get domestic violence restraining orders in California. The bill AB2089 goes into effect January 1, 2015

As the oldest of seven children growing up near Boston, Bill started taking responsibility at an early age. Bill excelled in school and became an Eagle Scout. After earning his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia at the age of 24, Bill became a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, where he published papers on Galactic Structure. Upon returning to New York City, Bill joined NASA as a research scientist and developed the Goddard Institute Climate Model, which he used for some of the first studies of climate change. Bill left NASA to work at the management consulting firm, McKinsey and Company in New York City in their computer system practice. Bill then worked in the computer industry in Silicon Valley before settling into a career at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), where he established himself in the fields of atmospheric science and nuclear technology design. Bill became this country’s expert in nuclear programs in numerous foreign countries. Bill prepared reports for the Presidential Daily Brief and played a key role in the negotiations for the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Teaching physics at Columbia, Caltech and UC Davis helped Bill formulate his lifelong interest in education.

Bill has a strong record of public service, beginning with his tenure as PTA president while his children attended Hayward public schools. Since moving to Hayward in 1978, Bill served the community as President of Hayward Friends of the Library and Chair, Hayward Library Commission. He is a Member of Hayward Rotary, the Hayward Arts Council and the Hayward Area Historical Society. Bill served from 2004-12 on the Hayward City Council. While on the Council, Bill served on the Board of Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency, and the Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency. While on the city council, Bill has been dedicated to revitalizing Hayward through promoting jobs and safe and clean neighborhoods. He’s worked with the Mayor and colleagues to:

  • Prioritize neighborhood safety and cleanliness with a well-staffed police department and effective graffiti and litter abatement programs
  • Revitalize downtown by attracting a movie theatre and improving traffic on the Mission-Foothill corridor
  • Redevelop the Burbank area, including construction of a new neighborhood school and expanded park
  • Adopt a Climate Action Plan
  • Create jobs and housing at the South Hayward BART and support sustainable growth
  • Improve services to the neighborhoods
  • Reduce new home building fees and prevent new fees on the sale of homes
  • Develop a plan to respond to sea level rise by building up Hayward’s marshes
  • Involve residents, land owners, and developers earlier in the planning process
  • Bill has been a union member for 30 years and has served on the board of CWA local 9119, which has over 10,000 members at all the University of California Campuses.

Bill and his wife Laurel moved to the Hayward area in 1978. They raised two children who attended Moreau Catholic High School and the University of California. Since being elected to the California State Assembly in November 2012, Bill has served on 5 committees: Rules, which determines what committees bills are sent to. Appropriations, which determines whether bills that appropriate funds can proceed to a vote of the full assembly. Utilities and Commerce that deals with the state’s telecommunication, electric, gas, and water utilities. Agriculture and Public Safety.


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