LWV League of Women Voters of California
San Mateo, Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Byron Sher

Candidate for
State Senator; District 11

This information is provided by the candidate

Byron Sher was born and grew up in St. Louis. He graduated from Washington University before earning his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1952. He held academic teaching positions in law at Southern Methodist University, the University of Southern California, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, and was a Fulbright Research Scholar in New Zealand.

As a professor of law at Stanford University, Byron specialized in consumer credit, consumer protection, and contract and commercial law. At Stanford, he was chairman of the Human Relations Commission and chairman of the Faculty Senate.

Byron served two terms as Mayor of Palo Alto during his nine years on the City Council. He was elected to the Assembly in November, 1980, where he served for over 15 years. While in the Assembly, Sher served as chairman of the Criminal Law and Public Safety Committee and as chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. He consistently has been ranked as one of the State's top 10 legislators for intelligence and integrity by the nonpartisan California Journal magazine.

Byron was elected to the Senate on March 26, 1996, in a special election to fill a vacancy in the 11th Senate District. Eight months later he was re-elected to a full four-year term.

Byron is widely regarded as the Legislature's leading environmentalist and one of its foremost experts on consumer protection and government ethics. Sher was chosen to be the first chairman of the new Senate Environmental Quality Committee. Prior to this assignment, he briefly chaired the Senate Housing and Land Use Committee. He currently also chairs the Senate Headwaters Forest Task Force, and is a member of the following Senate committees: Budget and Fiscal Review (and Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Judiciary and Transportation), Constitutional Amendments, Education, Insurance, Judiciary and Natural Resources and Wildlife.

In addition to his legislative commitments, Sher is a member of the steering committee of the National Council on competition and the Electric Services, and serves as a California Commissioner on the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

For nearly 40 years, Byron Sher has lived in Palo Alto, where he and his wife Linda have raised three children.

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