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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
San Mateo County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Will Holsinger

Candidate for
Harbor Commissioner; San Mateo County Harbor District

This information is provided by the candidate

Will Holsinger is a second-generation native of the Peninsula.

His maternal grandfather operated stables in Golden Gate Park and in San Mateo in the 30s and 40s. Will's mother was an active horsewoman, playing polo in Golden Gate Park and competing in rodeos throughout the Bay Area. In the early 1970s, she co-owned and operated a commercial fishing boat out of Drake's Bay in Marin County. As a young man, Will Holsinger crewed her boat and fished with other fisherman in the Farralones fishery off the coast.

Will Holsinger has watched Pillar Point Harbor develop over the years, frequenting the beaches and harbor at Princeton since before the first breakwater was built. For several years as an adolescent, he lived in rural West Marin; for a time in Inverness, a small town on Tomales Bay, population 400 (in Winter) and in Olema, population 30. He understands the value and quality of a rural living experience.

Will Holsinger is a product of local public schools, including Calvin Cooledge Elementary in Burlingame, Mills High School in Millbrae, and the College of San Mateo. Except for a few periods during college and graduate school, and as a child in Marin County, Will Holsinger has been a resident of San Mateo County his entire life (continuously since 1978).

Will Holsinger has a dedication to San Mateo County's future that is well-grounded in the past. His committment to the county is well established.

Will Holsinger has a long personal and family history of community service. His father, the late Joe Holsinger, was active in politics for many years, starting as a co-founder and first president of the San Francisco Young Democrats. He went on to serve as California co-chair for the presidential campaigns of Gene McCarthy and Jimmy Carter. When he retired, Joe Holsinger was a state deputy superintendant of schools.

This committment to service was passed along to Will Holsinger. Between undergraduate and graduate school, he worked for the late Leo J. Ryan as a staff assistant in Washington, D.C. In graduate school, he co-founded the Hastings Demoractic Club. After graduation, Will Holsinger returned to work temporarily for Congressman Ryan, serving as a special investigator before Ryan's fatal trip to Guyana in November 1978.

Will Holsinger was first elected to the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee in 1980, later becoming the chairperson. He was active as a member of the Democratic Party executive committee for several years.

In the mid 1980s, Will Holsinger turned from partisan politics and refocused his attention on non-partisan, community service. He was an early supporter of SamCAPP (San Mateo County Child Abuse Prevention Program) and was one of the first volunteer attorneys for the Battered Women'a Shleter of San Mateo County. He went on to serve six years on the board of directors of Women's Recovery Association of San Mateo County.

Other non-partisan community activities and organizations in which he has participated include three years on the San Mateo Personnel Board, and, most recently, serving as one of 15 members of the San Mateo Citizens Advisory Committee for the Phase II development of Bay Meadows (demanding that the developer dedicate at least 15 acres to a new city park). Will Holsinger is a member of the Burlingame Rotary Club and past member of the Redwood City, San Mateo and Burlingame Chambers of Commerce. He was a participant in and graduate of the San Mateo Chamber's 2001 Leadership Program. Will Holsinger has served as a board member on the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. He has been a judge Pro Tem and arbitrator for the San Mateo County Courts for many years.

Professionally, Will Holsinger now serves as personal legal counsel to individuals, professionals and businesses. He has lectured on employment law, premises liability and in other areas of specialized legal practice. He is an experienced litigator and advocate, representing clients in court and jury trials, administrative hearings, arbitrations, and, recently, before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Will Holsinger is especially proud of his effort in creating and coordinating the September 11, 2002 Unity in the Light program, in which seven Burlingame churches, city hall and a local retirement facility joined together to light up their facilities with an estimated 2,000 hand-decorated sand candles with the names of family, local and national heroes, carrying messsages of faith and hope for the future. Almost 10,000 people participated in this event, one year after the 9/11 attacks. The next year, the event was repeated at Our Lady of Angels Church, when over 600 sand candles lit up the front of the church.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 25, 2004 16:00
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