A social justice advocate, energy and climate change trailblazer, and accomplished legislator, Nancy Skinner recently completed three terms in the State Assembly representing the East Bay cities along the I-80 corridor from Hercules to Oakland. Skinner currently teaches public policy at UC Berkeley, focused on policy interventions to address poverty and income inequality. She also serves as a Senior Policy fellow at UC Davis’s Energy and Transportation Institutes.
In the Assembly, Skinner served as Chair of three key committees: Budget, Rules and Natural Resources. As Budget Chair she oversaw the largest funding boost to childcare and preschool in over a decade; increased state support to our State University and UC systems, cut the number of juveniles incarcerated in state facilities by half, and established a new dedicated fund to reduce prison recidivism.
Skinner took on the Gun Lobby, successfully passing two groundbreaking gun violence prevention measures. To get corporations to pay their fair share, Skinner authored the bill that requires Amazon and other internet retailers to collect sales tax which is now bringing close to a $1 billion a year in new revenue to support vital services for California families. An environmental and climate protection champion, Skinner carried measures that doubled rooftop solar and renewable energy.
A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BS and an MA, Skinner co-founded the labor union representing graduate student instructors and was a leader in the UC South Africa Divestment movement.
Ms. Skinner began her public service in 1984 as the first and only student to be elected to the Berkeley City Council. On Council Skinner introduced the nation’s first Styrofoam ban and co-founded an international association of cities, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. After her term on the City Council, Skinner served as Executive Director of ICLEI’s US office and International Director of ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection program which engaged cities worldwide to take action to stop climate change.
Skinner is a past member of the East Bay Regional Park District Board, a former small business owner and an advocate to increase women in elected office. She served on the Board of the East Bay Women’s Political Caucus and launched the statewide Women in Power Pac (WIP Pac) to support Democratic women.
Skinner and her husband, a retired city employee, are 40 year residents of Berkeley, her daughter Sirona and her wife, Sinead, live in Richmond. Three of Skinner’s eight brothers and sisters also live in the East Bay along with many nieces and nephews.
Assembly Member Nancy Skinner Top (10) Legislative Accomplishments:
Income Taxes on the Super Rich – AB 1130. My bill, AB 1130, the “Reagan, Wilson Share the Wealth Measure” restored income tax rates on millionaires to the rate they were under Republican Governor’s Reagan and Wilson. The California Federation of Teachers fought for these tax rates to be in Prop 30, which increased Prop 30 revenue by over $2 Billion a year.
Hungry Free Kids Act –AB 402. Children in our free/reduced price lunch program live in households struggling to make ends meet. CalFresh can help these families have access to daily nutritious meals, yet thousands are not enrolled. My bill makes it easy for these families to be enroll and receive the food assistance they need.
College Student Access to Cal Fresh – AB 1930. Low-income college students have it hard enough paying for tuition, housing and textbooks, I carried AB 1930 to give college students who were previously not considered eligible better access to food assistance.
ENDING CORPORATE LOOPHOLES
Internet Fairness – AB 155. Amazon and other Internet retailers refusal to collect sales tax was unfair to our main street businesses and kept money from our schools. AB 155 closed that loophole so sales like Amazon’s now give California close to $1 billion a year in new revenue to fund our schools and vital services.
Enforcing Workplace Safety – AB 1634. Dangerous conditions cited by California’s workplace safety regulator now have to be fixed right away, even if the employer appeals, so workers and communities aren’t put at risk.
Childcare and PreSchool Expansion – 2014 Budget Bill. As Budget Chair I facilitated the largest funding increase for early childhood education in over a decade, enabling the State to enroll thousands more children in preschool and quality childcare.
Higher Ed Funding While Halting Tuition Increases – 2014 Budget Bill. Our UC/CSU systems suffered huge recession cuts resulting in student tuition and fee increases. As Budget Chair I worked for a larger state allocation to UC and CSU with language that would rescind the funds if UC/CSU increased student tuition.
Saving Energy Saving Schools – AB/SB 39. Schools spend millions each year on energy, my legislation provided every California school district Prop 39 funds to pay for energy upgrades; now money saved on utility bills can go back in the classroom.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Foster Youth Detention – AB 2607. Foster kids get stuck in detention longer just for the ‘crime’ of not having a home, AB 2607 stopped the practice of using juvenile hall as a substitute for finding kids real homes.
Juvenile Justice – AB 999, included in 2011 Budget Bill. Guards in state juvenile facilities used ‘time-adds’ to unfairly prolong the time youth were incarcerated. Within three years of stopping ‘time adds’ the number of youth in state incarceration was cut in half.
Recidivism Reinvestment Fund- 2014 Budget Bill. Provided $100M for community services to support reentry of our formerly incarcerated; required inmates be issued State IDs and be enrolled in MediCal prior to being released; and eliminated the lifelong ban imposed on those sentenced for non-violent drug crimes from ever accessing CalFresh or CalWorks.
Doubling Rooftop Solar -AB 560. Expanded net metering so that homes and businesses could get credit on their utility bills for the electricity produced by their rooftop solar.
Electricity from Renewable Energy -SB X1-2. This bill set a 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requiring 33% of California’s electricity to be generated from solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy by 2020.
Energy Storage – AB 2514. Energy storage captures extra electricity produced by wind, solar and other renewable energy. My bill, AB 2514, makes sure our utilities utilize energy storage so we can put electricity to use when we need it.
Naming Eastshore State Park after Save the Bay Founder -AC 55. Our wonderful 8.5 mile ribbon of parkland along the eastern side of the SF Bay is now named after Save the Bay co-founder Sylvia McLaughlin, a worthy recognition of her significant leadership.
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Gun Violence Restraining Orders -AB 104. The mother of the Isla Vista shooter saw the signs that her son was dangerous, my bill established a firearm restraining order so every family now has a tool to get guns out of the hands of those threatening violence.
Assault Weapons Loophole -AB 48. California’s assault weapons ban had a big loophole, it was perfectly legal to buy kits that converted guns into working like assault weapons. My bill, AB 48, made these ammo kits illegal.