Mariko Yamada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mariko Yamada
Mariko Yamada in October, 2014
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 4th district
8th district (2008–2012)
In office
December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2014
Preceded by Lois Wolk
Succeeded by Bill Dodd
Personal details
Born (1950-10-23) October 23, 1950 (age 67)
Denver, Colorado
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Janlee Wong
Children Meilee
Residence Davis, California
Alma mater University of Colorado
University of Southern California
Occupation Social Worker/Civil servant

Mariko Yamada (born October 23, 1950) is a former Democratic assemblywoman from California's 4th Assembly district. She was elected in 2008 after defeating West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon in a competitive Democratic primary, a defeat that many considered an upset win for Yamada.[1] She was the third consecutive woman from Davis to be elected to this seat, following in the footsteps of Helen Thomson and Lois Wolk.

In 2016, Yamada lost the election for the seat representing California's 3rd State Senate district to Bill Dodd.[2]


Both of Yamada's parents were held in Japanese internment camps during World War II.[3] Yamada grew up attending inner-city schools and later became the first member of her family to complete college and graduate school.[3] She lives in Davis with her husband, Janlee Wong. They have two children—Meilee, a 2007 alumna of the University of Southern California, and Midori, a 2008 alumna of the University of California at San Diego.


Yamada received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and received her master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California.

Political career[edit]

Prior to serving in the Assembly, Yamada represented the city of Davis on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.


Yamada's experience includes a decade in Washington, D.C. in federal service, first with the U.S. Census Bureau working on the undercount reduction campaign of the 1980 Census. She later worked as an investigator with Civil Rights division of the United States Department of Commerce. She also co-produced and co-hosted "Gold Mountain, D.C.", a jazz and information show on WPFW 89.3 FM.


  1. ^ Bajko, Matthew (June 5, 2008). "Two gay Assembly candidates win races". Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  2. ^ "California 3rd District State Senate Results: Bill Dodd Wins". The New York Times. November 13, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Hashimoto, Giovanni. "Assemblymember Yamada Speaks to College Democrats". Pacific Union College. Retrieved October 28, 2012.