Ken Yeager

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Ken Yeager
Member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
from the 4th district
Assumed office
Preceded by Jim Beall
Member of the San Jose City Council
from the 6th district
In office
Succeeded by Pierluigi Oliverio
Personal details
Born (1952-12-12) December 12, 1952 (age 65)
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Michael Haberecht
Residence San Jose, California
Alma mater San Jose State University
Stanford University

Ken Yeager (born December 12, 1952) is an American politician serving on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, representing District 4. First elected to the board in 2006, he represents the cities of Campbell and Santa Clara, as well as west San Jose and the Burbank and Cambrian neighborhoods. Previously, Yeager had served on San Jose City Council from 2000 to 2006. Before that, he'd served two terms on the San Jose/Evergreen Community College Board. He was a candidate for the 23rd district seat in the California State Assembly in 1996, coming in second.

Early life and education[edit]

Ken Yeager was born December 12, 1952.[citation needed] His parents were Ernest Eugene "Gene" Yeager (1924–2010)[citation needed] and Carolyn French Yeager (d. 2003).[1] Yeager attended San José State University (SJSU), where he earned a B.A. in political science. He went on to Stanford University, earning an M.A. in sociology, and a Ph.D. in education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Yeager completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[2]


Early career[edit]

Prior to his career in politics, he taught political science at San Jose State University (SJSU) for 12 years full time.[3]

In 1984, Yeager was a cofounder of the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, described as a "four-county lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender political action group."[4] He came out publicly in a 1984 San Jose Mercury News opinion piece in response to the anti-gay rhetoric of a local state senator.[4] In 1992 he became[4] the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County,[3][5] when he was named as trustee of the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District.[4] From 1992 until 2000, he served two terms in the role.[3]

He was a candidate for the 23rd district seat in the California State Assembly in 1996, coming in second in the Democratic primary to then-Supervisor (now Congressman) Mike Honda.[6]

Yeager served on San Jose City Council from his election in November 2000 until March 2004, when he was re-elected for a second term[3] that lasted until 2006.[citation needed] In 2001, he flew the rainbow flag for the first time above San Jose City Hall.[4] Yeager amended San Jose's harassment policy in 2003 to include gender identity.[4] In 2004, he was named chair of the San Jose City Council’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Ethics.[3]

Recent and current positions[edit]

Ken Yeager speaking in 2009

He is currently serving on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, representing District 4. First elected to the board in June 2006, he represents the cities of Campbell, Santa Clara, west San Jose, and the Burbank and Cambrian neighborhoods.[3] He was re-elected in 2010 and 2014.[7] In 2008, and then again in 2013, it was Yeager who presided over the first same-sex marriages in Santa Clara county, and he had overseen around 100 such marriages by 2014.[4] Yeager is a former board member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD),[3][8] and in January 2009[9] the governor appointed him the BAAQMD representative on the California Air Resources Board for four years.[3]

Involved in public transportation in California,[3] Yeager backs the electrification of Caltrain,[10] extending Bay Area Rapid Transit to San Jose,[3][11] and building California High-Speed Rail.[3][12] In late 2010 he joined the board of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.[7] He is a member of the Caltrain Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors,[13] having served as its chair in 2013.[7] Yeager serves as chairman of the Supervisors’ Health and Hospital Committee,[3][14] and he is also chairman of the California State Association of Counties Health and Human Services Committee.[3][15] He is furthermore a member of the First 5 Commission of Santa Clara County.[3][16] By 2014, he had published Trailblazers: Profiles of America’s Gay and Lesbian Elected Officials.[4] As of 2017, he continues to periodically teach at San Jose State University.[3]

Yeager terms out of his District 4 Santa Clara County supervisor seat at the end of 2018, and in March 2017, it was reported that former Campbell mayor Jason Baker would be challenging him for the seat.[17]


Yeager's long-time partner is Michael Haberecht.[18] Yeager is a triathlete[3] and cyclist and frequently commutes to work by bike.[19]


  1. ^ "San Jose City Council Amended Agenda, Feb_ 25, 2003". City of San Jose. 2003-02-25. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2013-06-13. This meeting will be adjourned in memory of Council Member Yeager’s mother, Carolyn French Yeager. 
  2. ^ "Full Biography for Ken Yeager". League of Women Voters. June 6, 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Ken Yeager Profile
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ken Yeager - Our Candidates - Santa Clara County Supervisor". Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Santa Clara County First Nationwide to Open Office of LGBTQ Affairs", San Jose Inside, January 8, 2016, retrieved March 3, 2017 
  6. ^ "California Secretary of State: 1996 primary election results" (PDF). 1996. Retrieved March 3, 2017. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c "Ken Yeager". Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Notice of Preparation for the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report for the Diridon Station Area Plan" (PDF). BAAQMD. October 13, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  9. ^ "ARB Board Member Biographies - Ken Yeager". Air Resources Board - California Environmental Protection Agency. January 6, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Caltrain Applauds MTC Endorsement of Regional Agreement to Fund Modernization". Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  11. ^ "BART Is On Its Way to San Jose". Metropolitan Transportation Commission. April 12, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Caltrain Board Adopts Updated MOU with High_Speed Rail". Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Board of Directors". / Caltrain Joint Powers Authority. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Regular Meeting - Agenda". County of Santa Clara Health and Hospital Committee. April 13, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Health and Human Services". California State Association of Counties. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Ken Yeager". First 5 Commission of Santa Clara County. Archived from the original on June 19, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  17. ^ Leyva, Jasmine (March 7, 2017), "Former Campbell mayor joins growing field of District 4 supervisor candidates", The Mercury news, retrieved April 2, 2017 
  18. ^ "Couples preparing to wed". Bay Area Reporter. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  19. ^ "Participation Highest Ever for Bay Area's Bike to Work Day". Metropolitan Transportation Commission. 2009-05-20. Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Beall
Santa Clara County Supervisor, 4th District