Yamada: ‘The Lines Have Changed, But I Haven’t’

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DAVIS — Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) is seeking re-election to the California Assembly, and like the other incumbents, she is running in a newly redrawn district.

Mariko Yamada

In a message to her supporters, Yamada wrote: “My first three years in the California Legislature have been among the most tumultuous in our state’s history. Budget battles, water wars, and education extractions dominated 2009-2010; in 2011, redevelopment and realignment took center stage.

“Also dominating 2011, our first-ever decennial Citizens Redistricting Commission process that brought change throughout California. While I continue to vigorously represent my current constituents in the 8th Assembly District (Solano and Yolo counties), my hat’s now in the ring for the new 4th Assembly District, which includes all or parts of six counties: Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano (Dixon), Sonoma (Rohnert Park), and Yolo.

“Although the district lines have changed, I have not. I will continue to focus on the issues most important to all Californians — education, healthcare, and public safety. District priorities include protecting agriculture and precious water resources. My personal interests in aging and long-term care and services to veterans and working families remain strong.

“Also, more now than ever, people want JOBS. For those able to work, employment is the winning ticket to self-sufficiency. We must find ways to get people back to work.

“These are difficult times, indeed, but as many of you know, I have never shied away from a tough fight. There is so much more work to be done.

“Serving on your behalf is a privilege, and I want to thank you for your past support and encouragement. I hope I can count on you as we work together to restore hope and reform to state government so that all Californians can see a brighter future.”

Under the new primary system, the top two vote-getters will go on to the general election, regardless of party. But in the June 5 election for the 4th Assembly District, it is a foregone conclusion that Yamada and her Republican opponent, John Munn, will face off in November because they are the only candidates.

Munn, also from Davis, is retired from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and is former head of the Yolo County Taxpayers Association.

Yamada, who will be serving her third and final term if elected, was a member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. Trained as a social worker, she has worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C. and served as assistant deputy county supervisor to Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman and equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer for the San Diego Department of Social Services.

She was born in Denver after her family’s release from Manzanar and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1972. She and her husband, Janlee Wong, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, have two daughters: Mailee, who graduated from USC, and Midori, who graduated from UC San Diego.

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