Democracy Awards


Civil Rights

During his more than 25 years in public service, Mark has fought to ensure that all communities are protected from discrimination and harassment. Whether it is promoting equality based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, race, nationality, or any other characteristic, Congressman DeSaulnier values the ideal that we are not equal until everyone is equal, and continuous fighting for this goal in Congress.

Defense and Veterans

Threats to our country are constantly evolving, and we must evolve with them. The security of our nation and the welfare of our veterans are some of Congressman DeSaulnier’s top priorities. Mark is committed to providing our nation’s current and past service members with the supports they need to live fulfilling lives while on duty and when they return home – treatment that they have earned through their selfless sacrifices for our nation.


Throughout his career in public service, from his time as a local Head Start Commissioner to his current seat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congressman DeSaulnier has been an advocate for quality education. From preschool to higher education and beyond, he values a public education, programs to support the “whole child,” and ensuring that all students gain the skills they need to succeed in our rapidly changing workplace.

Energy & Environment

As a former member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Mark is a proud champion of policies that protect the environment and address climate change. He is a firm believer that strong and forward-looking energy and environmental policy is not the enemy of economic growth, but a key driver of growth, innovation, and competitiveness. Moreover, rigorous environmental enforcement and oversight is necessary to ensure proper protections of the health and well-being of all Californians.

Gun Violence Prevention

Recent events, including the shootings in seven states, and the more than 30 gun-related deaths that occur every day in the United States, have led many Americans across our country to direct their attention to this important issue and demand action. Commonsense reforms led by Congressman DeSaulnier would make our families, schools, and communities safer while adhering to the Second Amendment.

Health Care

All Americans should have quality, affordable health insurance. In addition to being a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congressman DeSaulnier is a supporter for the investment in research and innovation in new treatments and cures, addressing prescription drug affordability, and stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic in America.


The need to expand housing and provide more affordable options in the San Francisco Bay Area could not be clearer. With some workers enduring two-hour commutes to get from homes in the Central Valley to jobs in Silicon Valley and others looking elsewhere to start their businesses or raise their families, the housing crisis presents a serious threat to our region’s quality of life.


Immigrants are an essential part of our economy and our communities in California and across the nation. Our current immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed in a way that reflects both our interests and our values as Americans. I am strongly committed to ensuring that the United States fulfills its role as a global power and lives by the words enshrined on the Statue of Liberty.

Innovation and Technology

During his time as a state legislator, Mark chaired a Select Committee on Excellence and Innovation in State Government to find creative solutions to the California’s budget and governance challenges.

Jobs and the Economy

America’s workforce is one of the best, most productive labor forces in the world. Unemployment rates have hit historic lows in states across the country and there has been consistent job growth for 7 consecutive years. As a member on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and a former small business owner, however, Mark has seen firsthand that not all workers are well off, and is committed to promoting policies that advance all workers, prepare them for the jobs of the future, and support our economy.

Oversight & Accountability

Americans deserve an efficient and effective government that meets the needs of hardworking families, now and into the future. In a time when many are concerned about how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent, as a Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) Congressman DeSaulnier strives to rebuild public trust in government through transparency, accountability, and a higher-level of customer service.
Preserving Social Security and Medicare

Social Security & Medicare

Social Security and Medicare represent our promise to seniors of a secure retirement, and Congressman DeSaulnier is committed to protecting these programs. As 76 million baby boomers approach retirement, Mark is focused on making sure we provide every retiree with the financial security they deserve. He has been a strong advocate for the protection of safety net programs throughout his time in government service and will continue to be a champion for seniors in Congress.


As the former Chairman of the California State Assembly and Senate transportation committees, and now current member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I), Congressman DeSaulnier knows firsthand how important clean, safe, and efficient transportation systems are to a dynamic and innovative California economy.

Women's Rights

Despite the tremendous progress made in the struggle for gender equality, women still face violence, discrimination, and institutional barriers to equal participation in society. Nearly a hundred years after women’s suffrage, the United States has not yet guaranteed equal constitutional rights to women. Women continue to face the impacts of gender discrimination in many forms from their pay, workplace protections, social stresses, healthcare and reproductive rights, education, and elsewhere.