|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 15th district
December 1, 2014
August 21, 1968 |
|Alma mater||Temple University (BA)
Bryn Mawr College (LL.M) (MSW)
Tony K. Thurmond is an American politician currently serving in the California State Assembly and candidate for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. A Democrat, he represents the 15th Assembly District, which encompasses the northern East Bay. The district includes the East Bay communities that stretch along the I-80 corridor from Hercules to Oakland, including Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, El Cerrito, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante and Kensington.
Thurmond is a member of the California Legislative Latino Caucus, California Legislative Black Caucus, and California Legislative Jewish Caucus. Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2014, he was a member of the Richmond City Council, a Board Member of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, and social services administrator.
Thurmond was born in Monterey, California. He lived in San Jose, California, where he was raised by a single mother, a teacher from Panama. Tony's mother died of cancer in 1974, when Tony was 6. He then moved to Philadelphia, where he was adopted and raised by his cousin and stepfather, both campus police officers active in union life.
Thurmond's first experience in elective office was as president of the student body at Temple University. Before being elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, Thurmond was a member of the West Contra Costa School Board from 2008 to 2012 and the Richmond City Council from 2005 to 2008. Thurmond was the council liaison to the West Contra Costa County Unified School District and the West Contra Costa County Education Fund. He also served as council liaison to Richmond's Youth Commission and Workforce Investment Board. He was a member of the Family and Children's Trust Committee of Contra Costa County.
Thurmond ran first for the District 15 Assembly seat in 2008, coming in second out of four candidates. He ran again in 2014, this time winning 54.3% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2016 with 89.4% of the vote. Thurmond is a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus.  California Latino Legislative Caucus, and the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
Thurmond's first bill to be signed into law was AB 1375, which increases the rate of credit for time served incarcerated in lieu of paying court fines. This credit had not been adjusted since its inception in 1976; this bill adjusts it for inflation and the minimum wage. Thurmond's AB 1496 requires the California Air Resources Board to measure and reduce methane emissions to help curb greenhouse gas emissions statewide. AB 1343 helps ensure due process for defendants who are immigrants; it was part of a package of legislation focused on protecting undocumented immigrants. AB 768 bans use or possession of smokeless tobacco products in California's five professional baseball stadiums. AB 2X-9, the Tobacco-Free Schools Act, co-authored by Thurmond and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, bans tobacco use on all school district-owned or school-leased property. This bill also mandates that schools post signs reading "tobacco use is prohibited" at entrances.
As Chair of the Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, Thurmond helped secure resources in the California State Budget for county welfare offices for Medi-Cal eligibility administration, caregiver resource centers, medical clinics to extend urgent care hours, an HIV prevention outreach program, syringe exchange programs and mental health advocacy especially for veterans, youth and racial and ethnic minorities.
|California's 15th State Assembly district election, 2014|
|Peace and Freedom||Eugene E. Ruyle||2,426||3.5|
|No party preference||Bernt Rainer Wahl||1,132||1.6|
|California's 15th State Assembly district election, 2016|
|Democratic||Tony Thurmond (incumbent)||124,136||91.1|
|Democratic||Tony Thurmond (incumbent)||189,530||89.4|
Thurmond has held leadership positions with several nonprofit social service organizations. In the mid-2000s, Thurmond was the Executive Director of Beyond Emancipation, a social service agency providing aftercare services to youths leaving the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in Alameda County. At the Golden Gate Regional Center, he was a program manager leading service provision to individuals with developmental disabilities. In 2012 he began to serve as the Senior Director of Community and Government Relations at Lincoln Child Center. Much of his social service work has focused on improving service provision to current and former foster youth and directing educational programs that provided job training to at-risk youth in the East Bay area.
Thurmond has served as an advisor to the Richmond Youth Commission. He was chair of Richmond's 2005 Summer Youth Program which employed 200 local teens. In recognition of his social service leadership, Thurmond has been a Fellow in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Children and Family Fellowship program.
Thurmond's State Assembly committee assignments reflect his legislative priorities, informed by his prior public service, nonprofit social service leadership and academic training.
On April 3, 2017, Thurmond launched his campaign for State Superintendent.
Thurmond lives in Richmond, California. He has two daughters.