Joe Simitian

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Joe Simitian
Joe Simitian.jpg
California State Senate District 11
Former member
In office
Elections and appointments
Last election2008
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
California State Assembly District 21
Mayor, City of Palo Alto
Bachelor'sColorado College
Master'sUniversity of California, Berkeley
J.D.University of California, Berkeley
Place of birthPalo Alto, CA
Personal website
Joe Simitian (b. 1953) is a former Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing District 11 from 2004 to 2012.

Due to California's term limits, Simitian was unable to run again for the state senate when term expired in 2012.

Simitian previously served in the California State Assembly, representing District 21 from 2000 to 2004. He also served on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, as president of the Palo Alto School Board and as Mayor of Palo Alto.


Simitian earned his B.A. from Colorado College, his M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford, his M.A. in City Planning from UC-Berkeley and his J.D. from UC-Berkeley.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Simitian served on these committees:

  • Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation, Chair
  • Subcommittee on Sustainable School Facilities


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Simitian served on these committees:


Policy positions

  • Simitian is a sponsor of Senate Constitutional Amendment 6. He believes that it should only take a 55% vote to pass a parcel tax measure, rather than a two-thirds majority vote. Senate Constitutional Amendment 6 would bring about that change. To get SCA 6 on the ballot will require a 2/3rds vote of the members of both chambers of the California State Legislature.[1]
  • Simitian is a critic of how California's High-Speed Rail Authority is managed. He said, in 2011, "We're rapidly approaching a time when I'm going to have to ask myself, 'Is (the rail authority) capable of delivering?' That remains a question mark in my mind." Simitian made these remarks after several state oversight agencies produced analyses that asserted that the High-Speed Rail Authority had made "contract payments made without verifying that work was actually performed, [issued] payments for services or equipment not covered in consulting contracts, and [suffered from] a lack of policies and procedures to review invoices and payments."[2]



Simitian was unable to run for re-election in 2012 due to term limits.


In 2008 Simitian was re-elected to the California State Senate, District 11. He finished with 272,154 votes while his opponent Blair Austin Nathan finished with 91,592 votes.[3] Simitian raised $969,297 for his campaign fund.

California State Senate, District 11
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joe Simitian (D) 272,154
Blair Austin Nathan (R) 91,592

Campaign donors

2010 (Off-cycle)


Senator Simitian discusses state budget

In 2008, Simitian raised $969,297 in campaign donations. His top four donors are listed below.[4]

Donor Amount
AFSCME California $14,400
California State Council of Service Employees $14,400
California Teachers Association $14,400
California Association of Realtors $14,400

Legislative scorecards

Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score.[5][6]

On the 2009 legislative scorecard, Simitian ranked as a 100. He was one of eight state senators the publication identified as voting in what they defined as a "liberal" way in every vote they ranked.[7]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
California State Senate District 11
Succeeded by
Mark Leno (D)