John Laird

California State Senate, District 17

John is one of the longest serving out LGBTQ+ people elected in history!


John Laird was elected on November 3, 2020, to represent the 17th District in the California State Senate. John carried the district, including all four counties, by a margin of over 145,000 votes. Laird was previously Secretary for Natural Resources under Governor Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2019; was a California State Assembly Member from 2002 until 2008; was a Cabrillo College Trustee from 1994 to 2002; was Director of the Santa Cruz AIDS Project; and was a Santa Cruz City Council Member from 1981 to 1990 – including two terms as Mayor. In 1983, he became one of the first openly gay Mayors in the United States.