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Full Biography for Mark James DeSaulnier
Mark DeSaulnier has served as Supervisor for the Contra Costa County District IV since his appointment in March 1994. He subsequently was elected in November 1994 and re-elected in 1998. In 2002, he retained his seat with 80 percent of the vote - the highest percent recorded in a contested election in the history of the county.
District IV consists of the cities of Clayton, Concord, Pleasant Hill a part of Walnut Creek, and the unincorporated communities of Pacheco, Clyde and Contra Costa Centre.
Supervisor DeSaulnier serves on the executive boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and he is chairman of the Regional Agency Coordinating Committee that has representatives from ABAG, MTC and the BAAQMD.
During his years on the County Board of Supervisors, the welfare and needs of children have been his major concern. He has sponsored numerous initiatives on their behalf including the Contra Costa Children's Report Card and the Children's Accountability Act, both tools for evaluating children's issues and the impact of county programs on children. He founded the County's Youth Commission to give youth a contributing role in local government. He also established the annual Children and Families' Budget, a separate County budget that reviews and measures the effectiveness of County programs in these areas. The Supervisor's other projects for children include AfterSchool4All, the Future Fund and the Children and Families Committee of the Board of Supervisors.
The Supervisor brought the principles of performance based budgeting to the County. This requires each department to submit extensive Annual Performance Reports as part of budget deliberations.
In June 2001, Supervisor DeSaulnier, recognizing the great need for women's health services, introduced a comprehensive Women's Health Program that would serve the health care needs of all women in Contra Costa County. The plan included construction of four new Women's Health Centers featuring a "one-stop shopping" approach to women's health needs. The Women's Health Centers are located in Bay Point, Brentwood, Concord and Richmond.
The Contra Costa County Library has welcomed Supervisor DeSaulnier's leadership for the re-organization of the system as well as his many continued efforts to find creative sources of funding for operating the system. Both the Teen Reading effort and Project Second Chance have been beneficiaries of his considerable support.
Supervisor DeSaulnier continues to play a significant role in Regionalism and Smart Growth. He has long been a champion of the need of government agencies to collaborate their efforts on solving regional problems. He established the Interregional Partnership that has spearheaded legislation to change growth patterns. He instigated the Regional Agencies Smart Growth Strategy and the Contra Costa: Shaping Our Future, process. He is also the co-author of the Contra Costa County Smart Growth Action Plan.
As a longtime restaurant owner in the Bay Area, Supervisor DeSaulnier is familiar with the needs of local businesses. He has encouraged healthy communities and sustainable workforces needed to support them. To these ends, he established the Business Leaders' Alliance to create a partnership between government and the private sector. The historic Contra Costa County Industrial Safety Ordinance for local refineries and chemical facilities sponsored by Supervisor DeSaulnier stands as landmark collaborative legislation to protect workers and the surrounding communities of Contra Costa County and beyond.
In 1994, before becoming Supervisor, he served as the Mayor of Concord, the largest city in Contra Costa County, and as a City Councilman from 1991 to 1993. He also served on the Concord Planning Commission and was a member of the University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program Advisory Committee.
Mark DeSaulnier was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of the Holy Cross. An avid runner, he has completed twenty-one marathons. He makes his home in Concord with his two sons, Tristan and Tucker.
In 2003 he participated as a fellow (sponsored by Fannie Mae) to the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government Leadership Program and Symposium on Affordable Housing.
Supervisor DeSaulnier was a featured speaker for the Japanese Automotive Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan, and Co-Chaired the World Fuel Cell Conference in Lucerne, Switzerland in July 2002. He also participated in two transportation-land use study tours sponsored by the German Marshall Fund to promote trans-Atlantic dialogue around the issues of smart growth, regional planning, air pollution and transportation. He has been a speaker on smart growth and regionalism numerous times, including Railvolution 2002, 2001, in Denver and San Francisco, and at the U.C.L.A. Conference Center at Lake Arrowhead. His participation in these events was not at taxpayer expense.
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