Chris Norby

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Chris Norby
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 72nd district
In office
January 29, 2010 – December 3, 2012
Preceded by Michael D. Duvall
Succeeded by Travis Allen
Member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors from the 4th District
In office
January 7, 2003 – January 29, 2010
Preceded by Cynthia Coad
Succeeded by Shawn Nelson
Mayor of Fullerton, California
In office
December 1995 – December 1997
Preceded by Julie Sa
Succeeded by Don Bankhead
Mayor of Fullerton, California
In office
December 1990 – December 1991
Preceded by A. B. "Buck" Catlin
Succeeded by Don Bankhead
Member of the Fullerton City Council
In office
April 1984 – July 1, 2002
Preceded by Duane Winters
Succeeded by Shawn Nelson
Personal details
Born December 3, 1949
Fullerton, California
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Martha
Children Five (Iris Norby (15) Ana Norby (17) Gary Norby (16) Alsx Norby (23) Johnny Norby (5)
Residence Fullerton, California
Alma mater Occidental College (B.A.)
Cal State Fullerton (M.A.)
Profession History Teacher

Chris Norby (born December 3, 1949) was a Republican California State Assemblyman representing portions of North Orange County, California. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Norby served as an Orange County Supervisor, Mayor of Fullerton, Fullerton City Councilman, and history teacher at Brea Olinda High School.

Early life[edit]

A native of Fullerton, California,[1] Chris Norby was one of four children born to Cornell and June Norby.[2] Cornell Norby had come from Minnesota to California in 1943 when he was in the Army during World War II and a year later, he married June, a native Californian.[2] June Norby died in 1995 after 51 years of marriage while Cornell Norby died in 2008.[2]

During his youth, Chris Norby was a Boy Scout and worked in the Norby family's lumber yard. As a teenager, Norby volunteered for Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign and worked as a guide at the Haunted Shack at the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park.[1]

In 1968, Norby graduated from Fullerton Union High School, where he was a football player and had served as Student Body President.[1]

He went on to Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he was elected to the college's board of governors and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in religion in 1972. After graduating from Occidental, Norby began working in the advertising and travel industries before returning to school to earn his teaching credential and Master of Arts degree in history from California State University, Fullerton.[1]

Teaching career[edit]

After earning his Master's degree, Norby became a teacher at St. Joseph School in Placentia. Later, he went on to be a teacher at Connelly High School in Anaheim.[1]

Norby continued his teaching career in the Brea Olinda Unified School District, where he taught government and history for 18 years. Students voted Norby "Mr. Brea Teacher of the Year" in 1998.[1]

City council[edit]

In April 1984, Norby was elected to the Fullerton City Council and was re-elected in 1988. He was elected to a one-year term as Mayor in 1990. Fullerton voters elected Norby to another Council term in 1992. He was elected Mayor in 1995 and re-elected in 1996. Fullerton residents supported another city council term for Norby in 2000.[3]

Norby was awarded the 1997 Samuel Adams Award for Leadership in Local Government from the Local Government Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote free market policies.[4]

County supervisor[edit]

In March 2002, Norby became the first person in 22 years to defeat an incumbent Orange County Supervisor when he won 54% of the vote against Supervisor Cynthia Coad, who won 46% of the vote.[5][6] Despite being outspent 5-to-1 by incumbent Coad, Norby had achieved what the Los Angeles Times described as "one of the biggest upsets in the county's political history."[6]

Norby was unanimously elected chairman of the board of supervisors in 2007.[7]

While Supervisor, Norby successfully pushed for restrictions on rehiring retired government employees; the restrictions curbed the practice of "double dipping" (a person collecting both a government pension and government salary simultaneously).[8] In response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision Kelo v. City of New London expanding government's power to seize private property, Norby authored Measure A, which strengthened the rights of homeowners and other private property owners by prohibiting Orange County government from seizing private property to give to a different private owner.[9][10][11] The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to put Measure A on the ballot,[10] which voters approved by a 76%–24% margin.[12] Norby also proposed and gained passage of a county ordinance issuing medical marijuana identification cards to eligible patients to show to police officers when questioned about marijuana possession.[13][14]

State legislator[edit]

After the September 2009 resignation of State Assemblyman Michael D. Duvall, Norby won the November 2009 special primary election to be the Republican nominee for State Assembly after defeating Republican National Committee member Linda Ackerman by a 17% margin.[15][16] Norby then went on to win the January 2010 special general election, defeating Democrat John MacMurray by a 2-to-1 margin,[17] and was sworn into the Assembly on January 29, 2010.[18]

Norby was re-elected to a full term in the November 2010 regular election, defeating Democrat Esiquio Ramos Uballe by a 61%–to-33% margin.[19] Due to the 2011 California redistricting, Norby's home of Fullerton was drawn out of the 72nd Assembly District into the 65th Assembly District instead. In a major upset, he lost to Democratic Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva by a 52% to 48% margin. Quirk-Silva would then be defeated for re-election two years later by Republican Businesswoman Young Kim by a 55% to 45% margin.

Fighting redevelopment agencies[edit]

As a Fullerton City Councilman, Norby had "gained a name statewide as a fierce critic of redevelopment projects."[20] In 1996, while Mayor of Fullerton, he founded Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform, a group dedicated to fighting redevelopment agencies' provision of taxpayer subsidies to private development and eminent domain abuse.[21][22][23] Norby also wrote Redevelopment: The Unknown Government, a book describing the distortions caused by the fiscalization of land use, eminent domain abuse, and sales tax competition that results in big-box stores, car dealerships, and sports teams demanding special tax breaks from cities.[20][23][24]

During his time as an Orange County Supervisor, Norby continued his fight against redevelopment agencies, sponsoring conferences to share information on how to combat redevelopment agencies,[22] testifying against efforts to extend redevelopment project deadlines beyond 40 years,[25] creating and gaining passage of Measure A to prevent eminent domain from being used to seize private property to give to another private party.[10][12]

As a California state Assemblyman, Norby continued his fight against redevelopment agencies, citing it as one of his top legislative priorities.[26] He argued against redevelopment agencies in media-sponsored debates,[27] spoke at community meetings across the state,[28] and published articles in various state publications calling for redevelopment money to be spent on education instead.[29][30][31][32]

Norby introduced legislation in the Assembly to prohibit redevelopment agencies from using tax revenue to subsidize professional sports teams or their stadiums.[33] He also introduced legislation to force redevelopment agencies to be subject the Local Agency Formation Commission process, as other local agencies were required to be.[34][35][36]

As a conservative Republican, Norby gained notice for his willingness to cross party lines to partner with Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, in an eventually successful effort to abolish redevelopment agencies.[37][38][39][40] When redevelopment agencies filed a lawsuit to overturn California's new law abolishing the agencies, Norby filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court of California in defense of the new law.[41][42][43]

Personal life[edit]

Norby resides in Fullerton with his fourth wife, Martha,[44] and their five children, Ana, Iris, Gary, Alex & Johnny. Norby is the head usher at his family's church, the First Presbyterian Church of Fullerton. He is also a member of the Buena Park Rotary Club, Fullerton Elks Lodge, and Sons of Norway.[1] Norby also serves on the Fullerton College Community Advisory Group.[45]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "72nd Assembly District Special Election: Chris Norby". Flash Report. September 21, 2009. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Giasone, Barbara (October 1, 2008). "Cornell Norby, 91, dies in Fullerton". The Orange County Register. 
  3. ^ "Timeline of Council Members & Mayors". City of Fullerton. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ Cano, Debra; Canalis, John; Cruz, Mimi Ko (April 8, 1998). "Councilman Gets Leadership Award". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Reyes, David (March 7, 2002). "'Untouchables' Go by Board". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ a b Hicks, Jerry (March 7, 2002). "Norby: 'I'm That Change'". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Wisckol, Martin (January 9, 2007). "Norby is new chairman of the board". The Orange County Register. 
  8. ^ Pfeifer, Stuart (January 12, 2005). "County Limits Rehiring of Its Retirees". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Norby, Chris (February 22, 2006). "An Ordinance Prohibiting the Exercise of Eminent Domain for Private Purposes" (PDF). Orange County Board of Supervisors. 
  10. ^ a b c Santana, Norberto (February 28, 2006). "OC Supes take on eminent domain". The Orange County Register. 
  11. ^ Bock, Alan (April 13, 2006). "Kudos to Umberg on Measure A: Where is Daucher?". The Orange County Register. 
  12. ^ a b "Orange County – Primary Election – June 6, 2006 – Official Results for Election". Orange County Registrar of Voters. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ Berthelsen, Christian (April 17, 2007). "O.C. supervisors to vote on plan for regulating medical marijuana". Los Angeles Times. 
  14. ^ Berthelsen, Christian (July 18, 2007). "O.C. to license medical marijuana". Los Angeles Times. 
  15. ^ Van Oot, Torey (September 11, 2009). "Potential candidates line up for Duvall's seat". The Sacramento Bee. 
  16. ^ Bowen, Debra (November 20, 2009). "Official Canvass – State Assemblymember – 72nd Assembly District – Special Primary Election, November 17, 2009" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. 
  17. ^ Bowen, Debra (January 22, 2010). "Official Canvass – State Assemblymember – 72nd Assembly District – Special General Election, January 12, 2010" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. 
  18. ^ Sanders, Jim (January 29, 2010). "Norby sworn into replace Duvall in Assembly". The Sacramento Bee. 
  19. ^ Bowen, Debra (January 6, 2011). "Statement of Vote – November 2, 2010 General Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of California. p. 86. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Mehta, Seema (January 5, 2003). "Saying No Is Nothing New to Norby". Los Angeles Times. 
  21. ^ Weiss, Kenneth R. (March 21, 1996). "Ventura Considers Ban on Business Subsidies". Los Angeles Times. 
  22. ^ a b Mart, Greta (May 1, 2009). "Conference lays out pitfalls of Redevelopment Agencies". Martinez News-Gazette. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Sprague, Mike (November 18, 2009). "Redevelopment foes may get a new friend in Norby" (PDF). Whittier Daily News. 
  24. ^ "Stop Eminent Domain Abuse – board of directors". California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  25. ^ Howard, John (February 21, 2008). "Redevelopment funding at center of new political fight". Capitol Weekly. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. 
  26. ^ Merl, Jean (January 14, 2010). "Chris Norby outlines goals as Orange County's new state assemblyman". Los Angeles Times. 
  27. ^ Peterson, Brian (February 27, 2011). "Dive bars vs. schools". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 
  28. ^ White, Lisa (April 20, 2010). "State representative blasts redevelopment". Contra Costa Times. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. 
  29. ^ Norby, Chris (May 8, 2010). "Schools better to fight blight". The Orange County Register. 
  30. ^ Norby, Chris (May 20, 2010). "Blight-fight funds should go to schools". Capitol Weekly. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. 
  31. ^ Norby, Chris (January 5, 2011). "An Interesting Development: Jerry Brown on Redevelopment". Flash Report. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. 
  32. ^ Norby, Chris (January 27, 2011). "State should ax redevelopment agencies". The Orange County Register. 
  33. ^ Connor, F. Gale (April 7, 2011). "Field of Dreams". California Eminent Domain Report. 
  34. ^ "Norby Notes". California State Assembly/Chris Norby. February 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. 
  35. ^ Sebourn, Greg (April 1, 2010). "Chris Norby Takes on Redevelopment in Sacramento". 
  36. ^ "California's Right & Left Uniting Over Ending Redevelopment Agencies?". Sierra Madre Tattler. January 7, 2011. 
  37. ^ Saunders, Debra (January 23, 2011). "Jerry Brown takes on redevelopment". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  38. ^ Barnidge, Tom (February 27, 2011). "Common sense takes beating with redevelopment funding" (PDF). Contra Costa Times. 
  39. ^ Cavanaugh, Tim (April 1, 2011). "More Fun With Urban Renewal, Republican-Style". Reason. 
  40. ^ Coker, Matt (December 29, 2011). "State Supreme Court Upholds Abolition of Redevelopment Agencies". OC Weekly. 
  41. ^ California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos, p. 83 (California Supreme Court 2011). Text
  42. ^ California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos (California Supreme Court 2011). Text
  43. ^ "Parties and Attorneys – California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos". Judicial Council of California. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  44. ^ Muir, Jennifer. "Supervisor Chris Norby weds for fourth time, OCRegister". Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Community Advisory Group". Fullerton College. Archived from the original on November 8, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012.