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Democracy Awards

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Short Biography

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (DE-SOWN-YAY) represents California's 11th Congressional District in the San Francisco East Bay, including a majority of Contra Costa County. In January 2015, he was sworn in as a member of the 114th Congress and appointed to serve on the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Mark is a former small business owner who has been in public service for the last 25 years. During that time, DeSaulnier passed 61 bills into California law as both a California State Senator and Assembly member. Included in that portfolio is a first-in-the-nation menu labeling bill to address growing obesity. Other landmark legislation he co-authored created a new regional planning approach to solve environmental challenges that no single city can fix on its own.

In the California State Senate, DeSaulnier was Chair of the Transportation and Housing Committee where he spearheaded an investigation on issues plaguing the Bay Bridge. In the State Assembly, he received the distinction of being the first freshman in history to chair the Assembly Transportation Committee. He has experience as a Concord City Councilmember, Mayor and as a member of the County Board of Supervisors. On the Board of Supervisors Mark sponsored the Industrial Safety Ordinance and the Refinery Flare Rule for local refineries and chemical facilities, and supported women’s health program and clinics, the children and families budget, children’s report card and performance based budgeting. 

Further, Mark served as a representative on the California Air and Resources Board and as a board member for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Mark was born in Lowell, Massachusetts where he attended Holy Cross. He worked for the Boston juvenile court, as a warehouse worker, and as a hotel services employee. Mark has been a small business owner most of his career. Congressman DeSaulnier lives in Concord where he raised his two sons.