Assemblyman Rich Gordon’s life work has been in community and public service – helping young people and families, serving in local elected office, taking a leadership role with county governments across the state, and now as a leader in the State Assembly.
Assemblyman Gordon was first elected in November 2010 and represents the 24th Assembly District on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.
Assemblyman Gordon serves in a leadership position as Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee which is responsible for setting the rules of the house, assigning bills to committees, and overseeing Assembly personnel, budget, and other administrative functions. He is a member of the following Assembly Committees: Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection; Budget; Local Government; and Revenue & Taxation. During his tenure, Assemblyman Gordon previously chaired the Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee, as well as the Budget Subcommittee overseeing Resources and Transportation. Assemblyman Gordon, applying his experience in coastal San Mateo, recognized the need for state leadership to understand and prepare for climate change which led to the initiation of an Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, a Select Committee that he chairs. He is currently Chair of the Legislative LGBT Caucus, Co-Chair of the Bay Area Caucus, and a member of the Environmental Caucus. Assemblyman Gordon serves on the Assembly’s Working Group on Water Issues.
Assemblyman Gordon previously served for thirteen years on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. As a County Supervisor, Gordon worked to achieve government accountability by leading in the development of the County’s outcome-based budgeting and was instrumental in the formation of regional partnerships including the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust. Gordon was actively involved in the creation of the Children’s Health Initiative which guarantees health care coverage for children. In 2008, Gordon served as the President of the California State Association of Counties, an organization that represents all of California’s 58 counties.
Assemblyman Gordon also served as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Education for five years. Prior to public service his work was as a minister in the United Methodist Church and for twenty years he worked in the nonprofit sector where he was the founder and Executive Director of Youth and Family Assistance. He created innovate social programs for at-risk youth including Daybreak, the first suburban shelter for homeless youth in the country, and MiMe’s Café, a full service restaurant in Redwood City. A public-private partnership, MiMe’s Café trained the unemployed and homeless for careers in the culinary arts.
As a legislator, Assemblyman Gordon has been committed to ending the gridlock in Sacramento by trying to fix the dysfunction of the state’s governing system and structure, ensuring that California invests in the education of its children, maintaining the state’s position as a leader in environmental protection, and fighting so all of California’s residents have access to healthcare. Recognizing that heightened partisanship has limited the ability of legislators to fully serve their constituents, Assemblyman Gordon has worked to forge relationships on both sides of the aisle and across all political spectrums. This approach has been a crucial part of his legislative success, as many of his bills and committee efforts receive bipartisan support. He has seen personal success in Sacramento, where in his first term, Assemblyman Gordon was among the most productive legislators – having 26 of his 35 bills signed into law.
Assemblyman Gordon is a fourth generation Californian – born and raised in San Mateo County. He completed high school in Orange County and graduated from the University of Southern California. He has a Masters in Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. He resides in an unincorporated neighborhood in Menlo Park with his husband, Dr. Dennis McShane. Assemblyman Gordon and Dr. McShane have been in a committed relationship since 1982 and were married on August 16, 2008.