Elected in November 2016, state Sen. Nancy Skinner represents California’s 9th Senate District, which includes the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, El Sobrante, Hercules, Kensington, Oakland, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, Rodeo, San Leandro, and San Pablo.
A social justice advocate, energy and climate change trailblazer, and accomplished legislator, Skinner completed three terms in the state Assembly.
In the Assembly, she served as chair of three key committees: Budget, Rules, and Natural Resources. As Budget chair, she oversaw the largest funding boost to childcare and preschool in over a decade; an increase in state support for our CSU and UC systems; a reduction in the number of juveniles incarcerated in state facilities by half; and the creation of a new dedicated fund to reduce prison recidivism.
Skinner took on the Gun Lobby, successfully passing two groundbreaking gun violence prevention measures. To get corporations to pay their fair share, Skinner authored the bill that requires Amazon and other internet retailers to collect sales tax, which is now bringing in a $1 billion a year in new revenue to support vital services for California families. An environmental and climate protection champion, Skinner carried measures that doubled rooftop solar and renewable energy.
In the state Senate, Skinner serves on eight committees and is chair of the Public Safety Committee and the Public Safety Budget Committee. She has authored two landmark criminal justice reform laws, opening up police misconduct records for the first time in 40 years and overhauling California’s out-dated and unfair felony murder rule. She also has authored laws to address California’s housing crisis and protect the environment and cut greenhouse gas emissions. And in 2019, she authored the Fair Pay to Play Act, SB 206, which made California the first in the nation to allow college athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness.
A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS and an MA, Skinner co-founded the labor union representing graduate student instructors and was a leader in the UC South Africa Divestment movement.
Skinner began her public service in 1984 as the first and only student to be elected to the Berkeley City Council. On the council, Skinner introduced the nation’s first Styrofoam ban and co-founded an international association of cities, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, to address climate change. After her term on the council, Skinner served as executive director of ICLEI’s US office and international director of ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection program, which engaged cities worldwide to take action to stop climate change.
Skinner is a past member of the East Bay Regional Park District board, a former small business owner, and an advocate to increase the number of women in elected office. She served on the Board of the East Bay Women’s Political Caucus and launched the statewide Women in Power Pac to support Democratic women.
She is a 40-plus year resident of Berkeley.