The Lamorinda Democratic Club's monthly meeting on Thursday, February 9, will feature Assemblymember Joan Buchanan, who after redistricting will be running to become Lamorinda's new Assemblymember in 2012. Buchanan's talk will include a welcome to her new district and provide an update from Sacramento.
The club's meeting will be held at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, in Lafayette. The club's social hour will begin at 7:00 p.m., with a business meeting at 7:15 p.m., and Buchanan's presentation to begin at 8 p.m. There is a $5 charge at the door to help the club cover meeting expenses.
Buchanan was elected in November 2008 and re-elected in November 2010 to represent the 15th Assembly District, which includes portions of Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. In the new districts created by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Buchanan will be running to represent the new 16th Assembly District, which includes Lamorinda and the Tri-Valley in one of the state's new competitive districts (Democrats have a 6-point registration advantage in the district, and Governor Jerry Brown defeated Meg Whitman by about 5 points in the 2010 election).
A member of the Assembly Budget Committee, Buchanan chairs the budget subcommittee on State Administration and Information Technology. She serves on a number of additional policy committees including the Education, Transportation, Utilities and Commerce, and Accountability and Administrative Review committees. In 2009, she was appointed by the Speaker to the Special Education Commission and in 2010 the Speaker appointed her to the Standing Committee to the Judicial Council on Court Technology and to the State Allocation Board. She also chairs the Select Committee on Government Efficiency, Technology, and Innovation.
Before being elected to the State Assembly, Buchanan served on the San Ramon Valley School Board for nearly 20 years. Under her leadership, the district took a new direction, both expanding and renovating facilities and improving core academic programs. Over 94% of the district’s graduating seniors attend college or university. Despite being severely underfunded, San Ramon Valley School District has received state and national recognition for student achievement, ranking among the top 5% of all school districts in California.
Joan honed her financial and analytical skills at Delta Dental, becoming one of the fastest rising women in the company and Director of Commercial Operations before the age of 30. She left the private sector to raise her five children and in the process became one of the San Ramon Valley’s most effective community activists.