Opening Keynote: Shirley Weber

Assmb-Shirley-WeberAssemblymember Shirley Nash Weber was elected in 2012 to represent California’s 79th Assembly District, which includes Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, and San Diego.

Dr. Weber – who received her PhD from UCLA at the age of 26 – is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Budget, Assembly Select Committee on Higher Education in San Diego County, and the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate. She also serves on the Assembly committees on Education, Higher Education, and Appropriations.

Deeply committed to community service, Dr. Weber served on the boards of the NAACP, the YWCA, the YMCA Scholarship Committee, Battered Women Services, United Way, and the San Diego Consortium. She eventually made a successful run for a seat on the board of the San Diego Unified School District. As a trustee and subsequent school board president, she became known for her advocacy for closing the achievement gap and setting a higher standard of excellence for all children.

She was a leading proponent of one of San Diego’s first school-based health centers (SBHCs), at Hoover High, in 1989. Also, in 2014, while she was chair of the assembly budget subcommittee on health and human services, the Assembly proposed a significant reinvestment in public health programs, including funding for SBHCs.

Dr. Weber has translated her commitment to education into her ambitious legislative agenda. During her freshmen year in the California State Legislature, five of seven of her successful bills were related to education, including ACR 45 urging lawmakers and the governor to restore funding to early childhood education; AB 56 requiring standards for installing carbon monoxide devices in schools, and AB 899 linking English language. Bills signed in 2014 include legislation addressing civil rights, education, protections for person with disabilities, and voting rights.

She is also outspoken on the importance of investing in early childhood education as a means of preventing drop-out rates, dependence on social services, incarceration, and unemployment.

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