|Member of the California State Senate
from the 9th district
December 1, 2008
|Preceded by||Don Perata|
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 14th district
December 2, 2002 – December 1, 2008
|Preceded by||Dion Aroner|
|Succeeded by||Nancy Skinner|
April 10, 1940 |
|Alma mater||Wright Institute
|Occupation||Federal Education Administrator|
Loni Hancock is an American politician currently serving in the California State Senate. She currently represents the 9th district, encompassing the northern coastal East Bay. She previously served as a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 14th Assembly District (2002-08) and as the mayor of Berkeley (1986-94). Hancock is a member of the Democratic Party. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Hancock has lived in Berkeley since 1964 and is married to Berkeley Mayor and former District 14 California State Assemblymember Tom Bates. She has two children, two stepchildren from Bates' previous marriage, and seven grandchildren.
City Council Member and Mayor
Hancock served Berkeley as a member of the city council from 1971 to 1979. One of Hancock's achievements as a member of the council was the preservation of the Berkeley marina from development. She helped conduct a study by a group of students from the University of California at Berkeley that showed that major development in the marina area would threaten the wildlife in the area.
Hancock was the first woman to serve as the Mayor of Berkeley, California, succeeding Gus Newport in 1986. Serving as mayor for two terms, she balanced seven straight city budgets, forged a historic agreement between the city and the University of California, began the revitalization of downtown Berkeley, led efforts to secure additional open space and launched a Bio-Tech Academy at Berkeley High School (in partnership with Bayer), and managed to repair many potholes in Berkeley streets during a very short period prior to her second election as Mayor. Hancock is married to current Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates.
Roles in presidential administrations
Senator Hancock also served as President Jimmy Carter's Regional Director for ACTION, overseeing a host of domestic volunteer programs including VISTA, Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions and Retired Senior Volunteer Program. In 1994, Hancock left her position as mayor of Berkeley to serve in the administration of President Bill Clinton. Hancock headed the Western Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Education. Working with schools, communities, state and local governments, she helped launch many of Clinton's education initiatives.
California State Assembly
Hancock chaired the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. She led the committee to pass environmental legislation that protects open space, expands recycling programs and promotes healthy city-infill strategies in the state. Hancock also chaired the Assembly Select Committee on Bridging the Achievement Gap which, working to reduce high dropout rates, improve school-to-career programs, and provide oversight of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In 2007, the Governor signed legislation authored by Assemblywoman Hancock to greatly expand career technical education programs for high school students.
Hancock sat on the Assembly Committee on Rules and chaired the Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment and Violence Prevention, and was a member of the Committee on Education, the Committee on Housing and Community Development, the Budget Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. She worked in her committee positions to help expand health care programs for children, increase funding for foster youth programs and prevent cuts in Medi-Cal stipends and proposed cuts to programs for seniors and people with disabilities.
Hancock is strongly committed to campaign finance reform, and she authored AB 583, the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, to provide full public financing for all statewide races in California. In June 2007, the bill passed the Assembly with 45 votes.
Hancock was the first state Assemblymember in California to launch a Web log, or "blog." The blog enables her to communicate directly with and receive input from her constituents on a variety of issues.
California State Senate
Hancock was termed out of her Assembly seat in 2008. In the 2008 Democratic primary, she defeated former Assemblywoman Wilma Chan in the race for the Senate District 9 seat by a percentage of 56.5% to Chan's 43.5%. With heavily Democratic registration advantages in District 9, she was elected to the State Senate with 77.30%. Senator Hancock was sworn into the State Senate on December 1, 2008.
Hancock chairs the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee and is a member of the Education Committee, the Environmental Quality Committee, the Food and Agriculture Committee, and the Public Safety Committee.