Skilled Leadership and Deep Experience
Prior to being elected to the CA State Senate, John Laird served as California Secretary for Natural Resources for Governor Jerry Brown from January 5, 2011 until January 7, 2019. Laird also served as a member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board from 2008 to 2009 and taught state environmental policy at University of California Santa Cruz. In 2002, he was elected Assemblymember for the 27th District, which included portions of Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, and reelected in 2004 and 2006. While serving the maximum three terms in the Assembly, Laird authored 82 bills that were signed into law.
Prior to serving in the State Assembly, Laird was an elected member of the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2002. He also served as executive director of the Santa Cruz AIDS Project from 1991 to 1994.
In 1981, Laird was elected to the Santa Cruz City Council, and served nine years until term limits ended his council service in 1990. He was a two-term mayor from 1983 to 1984 and from 1987 to 1988.
The son of teachers and raised in Vallejo, Laird graduated with honors in politics from the University of California – Santa Cruz in 1972. He has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores. He has traveled extensively, is fluent in Spanish, enjoys conducting family history research, and is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan.