John Laird to join The Sierra Fund Board

NEVADA CITY, 20 October 2009 – The Sierra Fund is pleased to announce that John Laird has agreed to join the board of The Sierra Fund.  John will be formally seated at the December 2009 Board meeting.

“Mr. Laird brings wonderful skills, contacts, and expertise to our Board,” notes Patty Brissenden, Chair of the Board.  “We look forward to his contributions to our Board as we get close to the end of our first ten years of activity to increase public and private investment in protection and restoration of our Sierra.”

John Laird

John Laird has a thirty-five year career in public service, including twenty-three years as an elected official.  Until January 1, 2010 he is a member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board.

In 2002 Assemblymember John Laird was elected to represent the 27th Assembly District, which includes portions of Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties.  He was re-elected in 2004 and 2006, when he received over 70% of the vote.

At the start of his second term in 2004, Mr. Laird was appointed by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez to join the Assembly leadership team as chair of the Budget Committee, a position to which Speaker Bass reappointed him in 2008.

During Mr. Laird’s legislative tenure, he authored eighty-two bills signed into law—including bills to establish the landmark Sierra Nevada Conservancy, restore community college health services, expand and clarify state civil rights protections, reform the state mandates system and significantly expand water conservation. 

In 1981, Mr. Laird was elected to a seat on the Santa Cruz City Council and served nine years until term limits ended his council service in 1990.  He was elected by the City Council to one-year mayor’s terms in 1983 and 1987, becoming one of the first openly gay mayors in the United States.  He served as an elected member of the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees from 1994 to his election to the Assembly in 2002.

Mr. Laird lives in Santa Cruz with his partner John Flores. He is fluent in Spanish, has traveled widely, has conducted extensive family history research and is a life-long Chicago Cubs fan.