Toni Atkins

California State Senate, District 39

Toni was the first woman and first LGBTQ Senate President in California


Toni Atkins is a trailblazer with a record of delivering results.

Dedicated to public service, Toni Atkins was elected in 2018 as California’s first woman and first LGBTQ Senate President Pro Tem. Prior to that, she was San Diego’s first ever Speaker of the State Assembly. She first began her public service in the mid-1980s as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center and later as a San Diego City Councilmember from 2000 to 2008, which included her position as acting Mayor in 2005, before being elected to the State Assembly in 2010.

A pioneer in the fight for affordable and homeless housing, veterans, the environment, women’s health, and LGBTQ rights, Toni Atkins has negotiated balanced budgets while investing in California’s future – and fought hard for working families.

Toni’s legislative victories include authoring laws to help small businesses, preserve dignity for transgender individuals, protect wildlife, assist victims of domestic violence, protect our environment, ensure coastal access, address our housing and homeless crisis and strengthens family justice centers, among other accomplishments.

Toni Atkins was born in Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory & Henry College and completed the senior executive program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Toni lives in the South Park/Golden Hill community of San Diego with her spouse Jennifer LeSar and their dog Joey.

Importance of Candidacy:

  • Toni was the first woman and first LGBTQ Senate President in California.
  • She has a long legacy of fighting for the LGBTQ community in California.

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