Leland Yee

Infobox State Senator
name = Leland Yee

imagesize = 100px
state_senate = California State
district = 8th
term_start = 2007
term_end =
predecessor = Jackie Speier
successor =
state_assembly2 = California
district2 = 12th
term_start2 = 2003
term_end2 = 2007
predecessor2 = Kevin Shelley
successor2 = Fiona Ma
office3 = Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 4
term_start3 = 1997
term_end3 = 2002
predecessor3 = "district created in 2000; prior terms were for city-wide seat"
successor3 = Fiona Ma
birth_date = birth date and age|1948|11|20
birth_place = Guangdong, China
death_date =
death_place =
restingplace =
restingplacecoordinates =
nationality = United States
party = Democratic
spouse = Maxine Yee
children =
residence = San Francisco, California
alma_mater = UC Berkeley
San Francisco State University
University of Hawaii
occupation = Politician
profession = Child psychologist
religion =

website = http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/
footnotes =

Leland Yee (zh-cp|c=|p=Yú Yìnliáng, born November 20 1948 in China) is a California State Senator in District 8 which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County. Prior to becoming state senator, Yee was a California State Assemblyman, Supervisor of San Francisco's Sunset District, and was a member of the San Francisco School Board. In 2004 Yee became the first Asian American to be appointed Speaker pro Tempore, making him the second highest ranking Democrat of the California State Assembly.

Early life

Leland Yee immigrated to San Francisco from Taishan [ [http://www.gdfao.gov.cn/english/news/guangdong/200612310010.htm] ] , Guangdong, China when he was three years old and later became a naturalized United States citizen. His father served in the U.S. Army. [ [http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/16000121.htm] ] Yee attended San Francisco's Mission High School and earned a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley a master's from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the University of Hawaii. Leland Yee met and married his wife Maxine in 1972 and together they raised four children who attended SF public schools. He currently lives in San Francisco's Sunset District.

Political career

chool Board

Yee was elected to the San Francisco school board in 1988 and served two four-year terms on the School Board including one as Board President.

District 4 Supervisor

Leland Yee became Sunset Supervisor in 1996. As District 4 supervisor Yee was appointed to chair of the Finance Committee where he helped establish the "Rainy Day" budget reserve, the city's government transparency act, and introduced General Obligation Bond Accountability Act. He was re-elected to the board of Supervisors in 2002.

District 12 Assemblyman

Leland was elected to the California State Assemblyman in November 2002 to represent the 12th Assembly District.

In his first year in the Legislature, he was appointed to the Speaker’s leadership team as the Assistant Speaker pro Tempore. In 2004 Yee became the first Asian Pacific American to be appointed Speaker pro Tempore in the California State Assembly and was elected President of the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators.

tate Senator

On June 6, 2006, Yee defeated his opponents Mike Nevin and Lou Papan to win the Democratic nomination for the California State Senate, representing the 8th District.. In the final vote tally to be certified on June 27, 2006 by San Mateo County Chief Elections Officer Warren Slocum, [http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=60557] cite web |url=http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/stsen/0800.htm |title= CA June 6, 2006 Primary Results |accessdate=2007-10-15|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Yee gathered 51.9 percent, Nevin received 35.4 percent and Papan took 12.7 percent of the vote. Since Jan. 1, Nevin spent $887,562.80 of campaign contributions, Yee spent $673,372.59 and Papan ran a modest campaign, spending just $289,862.64. He was elected to the California State Senate in the November 7 2006 election by a landslide of 77.5% of votes cast [http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/stsen/0800.htm] . With San Francisco and San Mateo County having a high Democratic base Yee was elected as Senator for the 8th District on November 7, 2006 [http://vote.ss.ca.gov/Returns/stsen/0800.htm] . This was a notable election making him the first Chinese-American elected to the California State Senate in 156 years. Yee replaced Jackie Speier, who left office due to term limits [http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/16000121.htm] .Yee had largest margin of victory of any Democrat with a Republican opponent. As State Senator, Yee passed 11 bills chaptered into law in his first year.

Decision not to run for Congress in 2008

On January 14, 2008, Yee announced that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for the Congressional seat being vacated by the retirement of Tom Lantos. [cite web |title=Yee decides not to seek Lantos' House seat |first=John |last=Wildermuth |url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/15/BA8SUF8T7.DTL |accessdate=2008-01-16 |date=2008-01-14]

In 2008, in a surprising twist of events in the LPGA English language controversy, Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco and Assemblyman Ted Lieu of Los Angeles were able to help rescind the LPGA Tour Commission’s suspension-penalty policy. Both officials publicly challenged the legality and galvanized community attention to the LPGA’s policy in August 2008 when it was released, which resulted in revision of policy by the end of 2008. [ [http://www.asianweek.com/2008/09/05/lieu-and-yee-help-rescind-lpga-english-language-policy-penalties/ "Lieu and Yee Help Rescind LPGA English Language Policy Penalty"] . AsianWeek. Retrieved on 2008-09-08.]

Awards and Honors

He has been named “Legislator of the Year” by the California Association of School Psychologists; California School Nutrition Association; California Psychiatric Association; Faculty Association of California Community Colleges; California Independent Grocers; California Mental Health Directors Association; Associated Students of UC Davis; and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In addition, he was named “Person of the Year” by GamePolitics.com, a leading video game news site. [http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={7A6FE487-36AC-44FB-97BB-3C2EB9A47385} Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D. - Biography ] ]

For his legislative and community efforts, Senator Yee has also been honored with the Distinguished Service to Journalism Education Award by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges; Profile in Courage Award by the California Psychiatric Association; Special Friend of Children Award by the National Association of School Psychologists; Building a State of Equality Award by Equality California; Coastal Steward by Vote the Coast; Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Neighborhoods by the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods; Legislative Superstar by AFSCME; Moscone Award by the California School Nutrition Association; Advocacy Award by the California Association for Bilingual Education; Champion of Journalism Education Award by California Journalism Education Coalition; Cornucopia Award by California Women for Agriculture; Norman Hill Award by A. Philip Randolph Institute; and Environmental Champion by Environment California.

Legislative Accomplishments

During his tenure in the Legislature, Senator Yee has fought for children, mental health services, working families, open government, consumer protection, the environment, and civil rights. Since 2003, Dr. Yee has one of the best track records in getting his bills passed and signed into law. In fact, he has successfully passed 76 pieces of legislation, of which 59 have been chaptered into law.

In 2007, Senator Leland Yee had 11 bills chaptered into law. Most notably, SB 190 – the Higher Education Governance Accountability Act, brings major transparency reforms to the governing boards of the University of California and California State University. SB 230 grants the Broadmoor Police Department with all the powers and responsibilities of a municipal police force. SB 279 addresses illegal organized vehicle sales which cause a public nuisance and safety concerns. SB 523 increases the number of child support payments collected in San Mateo County by establishing a program to allow judges to order an unemployed child support obligor to seek work at the initial support hearing. SCR 52 calls for shared governance by workers of the University of California employee’s pension plan.

In 2006, Yee had 10 bills chaptered. Most notably, AB 2581 made California the first state in the nation to specifically prohibit censorship of college student press, including school newspapers and broadcast journalism. AB 450 requires disaster preparedness agencies to consider household pets, service animals, equines, and livestock in emergency evacuation planning. AB 1969 increases the production of renewable energy in California by allowing water and wastewater agencies to sell environmentally-friendly energy – such as small hydro, solar, and biogas – produced by their treatment and delivery facilities to electrical companies. AB 1207 adds sexual orientation to the list of protections in the Code of Fair Political Practices. AB 409, emergency legislation, establishes new health standards to protect nail salon consumers. ACR 106 officially declares California’s White Ribbon Campaign, an effort of men against violence.

In 2005, 12 Yee-authored bills were chaptered into law. Most notably, AB 1179, which was intended to protect children from the harmful effects of ultra-violent video games. AB 451 returns millions of dollars to airport communities across the state. AB 637 allows properly trained foster parents to administer life-saving shots for their foster children. AB 800 guarantees a patient’s spoken language is included in his/her medical records. AJR 14 officially declares California’s opposition to any weakening of the federal offshore oil drilling moratorium.

In 2004, Yee had 11 bills chaptered into law. Most notably, AB 3042 helps protect children from being exploited through prostitution. AB 2412 helps part-time community college faculty to access earned unemployment benefits. AB 1793 gives parents a tool in choosing appropriate video games for their children by requiring retailers to post signs about the rating system. ACR 195 brings greater awareness of the need for literacy instruction for visually impaired students through the use of Braille. ACR 158 officially declares each January as Mental Wellness Month in California.

In 2003, Yee’s first year in the Legislature, he had all 15 of his bills signed into law. Most notably, AB 504 increased fines for littering in parks and open space districts. AB 938 offers incentives to mental health practitioners working in medically under-served communities. AB 1102 requires evaluation of current mental health sensitivity training for law enforcement officers. AB 1371 strengthens informed consent requirements for mentally ill patients involved in medical research.

Other notable legislation authored by Yee include: AB 292 to prohibit the use of children as medical interpreters; AB 443 to improve school nutritional standards; AB 452 to create a double fine zone on the ever-dangerous 19th Avenue in San Francisco; AB 775 to require public meetings of the UC Regents for all discussions on executive compensation packages; AB 1321 to protect patients from receiving unfair bills for medical services covered by their insurance; AB 1113 to help strengthen the profession of acupuncture by allowing diagnosis within an acupuncturist’s scope of practice; AB 1818 to protect the health and safety of snowmobile consumers.

Video game controversies

In 2005, Yee criticized Rockstar North for the Hot Coffee Mod in and claimed that the ESRB knew about it in advance and criticized them for not rating it "adults only".cite web |url= http://www.gamespot.com/news/6129209.html |title= Leland Yee on Hot Coffee mod |accessdate=2007-10-15|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] The controversy resulted from the Hot Coffee mod created by PC users of the game using hacking tools to create a mod to play a mini game which was otherwise inaccessible to players.cite web |url= http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=5868|title= Gamasutra |accessdate=2007-02-26|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] In response, Rockstar removed the content used for the mod. That same year, Yee passed California Assembly Bill 1179, a video game bill that prohibits the sale of extremely violent videogames to children. Yee's bills passed in part to mass media concentration on the speculative link between video game violence and real world violence, as well as several support of concerned parent groups. The bill was signed into law on October 7th, 2005 and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) filed a lawsuit 10 days later. After the bill passed, it was ruled to be unconstitutional by Judge Ronald Whyte.cite web |url= http://gamepolitics.com/2007/08/06/breaking-california-2005-video-game-law-ruled-unconstitutional |title= California 2005 Video Game Law Ruled Unconstitutional |accessdate=2007-02-26|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] The State of California has appealled the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, despite several similar laws from other states also being overturned by the courts.cite web |url= http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070905-taxpayer-bill-for-failed-video-game-legislation-crosses-1-million.html |title= Taxpayer bill for failed video game legislation crosses $1 million |accessdate=2008-07-25|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-09-05 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

On April 12, 2007 Yee criticized the US Army’s program to will spend $2 million in tax dollars to sponsor the Global Gaming League. Yee claims the military individuals on the site who are "desensitized to real-life violence through the online violent video games."cite web |url= http://gamepolitics.com/2007/04/12/breaking-yee-spanks-army-over-video-game-recruiting-efforts/ |title= Leland Yee Zings Army over Video Game Recruiting Effort |accessdate=2007-10-15|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

On August 29 2007 Leland Yee criticized the ESRB for not disclosing what content was removed from Manhunt 2 to re-rate the game from an AO rating for violence to the ESRB Mature rating.cite web |url= http://gamepolitics.com/2007/08/27/breaking-californias-leland-yee-demands-answers-on-manhunt-2-re-rate/|title= California’s Leland Yee Demands Answers on Manhunt 2 Re-rate|accessdate=2007-10-15|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Yee asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the change in rating. In response, ESRB president Patricia Vance stated the details for a product that has not yet been released will not be disclosed.cite web |url= http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6981&Itemid=2 |title= ESRB Refuses to Detail Manhunt 2 Re-rate |accessdate=2007-10-15|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2007-01-10 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Opposition to Schwarzenegger healthcare plan

On January 23, 2008 during a committee meeting, Leland Yee announced his opposition to the health care plan sponsored by Governor Schwarzenegger, which resulted in a majority of Senate Democrats following his lead in opposing the Governor's healthcare plan. Labor unions throughout the state praised Yee's stance and leadership for fighting the Governor's plan, which was thought by many to be a gift to insurance companies as the plan would have forced inviduals to purchase insurance even if they could not afford it. If individuals failed to purchase an insurance company product, their wages could be docked and leans placed on their homes. Yee's opposition along with the opposition of Democratic Senator and Health Committee Chair Sheila Kuehl led the NY Times to predict that California's healthcare bill would be effectively killed.cite web |url= http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/28/us/28healthcare.html |title= California Governor’s Plan for Health Care in Trouble |accessdate=2008-01-28|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2008-01-28 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Open Government and Public Access

Leland Yee has long championed open government, public access, and free speech rights. While on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Yee authored the city's first sunshine ordinance and continued such tradition in the State Assembly. In 2006, then Assemblyman Yee authored the law (AB 2581) in which California became the first state in the nation to grant free speech and protect student press rights for students [ [http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC={0E3D7737-983C-4690-B8C1-2F93AF497E21}&DE={75932895-8575-4BD8-927B-2F9EDB08E42B} Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D. - California Becomes First State to Protect Student Press ] ] . In 2007, Senator Yee authored the Higher Education Governance Accountability Act (SB 190), which required all executive compensation packages at the University of California and the California State University to be voted on in an open session of a subcommittee and the full board. The bill also required full disclosure of the compensation package with accompanying rationale, allowed the public to comment on such action items, and made public advisory group meetings that deal with compensation matters [http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0151-0200/sb_190_bill_20071012_chaptered.pdf] . In 2008, Senator Yee passed a law (SB 1696) to allow greater public access to government contracts as well as audits and reviews of public agencies [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/03/BA7H11JKV6.DTL Law limits agencies' ability to keep secrets ] ] . He also passed SB 1370 protect high school and college teachers and other employees from retaliation by administrators as a result of student speech, which most often happens when a journalism advisor or professor is disciplined for content in a student newspaper [http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_9603863] . Yee is also working to pass legislation to protect state whistleblowers from retaliation [ [http://www.politickerca.com/adam-keigwin/1286/yee-s-whistleblower-bill-approved-committee Yee’s Whistleblower Bill Approved in Committee | PolitickerCA ] ] . The numerous legislative efforts earned Yee the title, "Senator Sunshine," by CalAware [ [http://calaware.typepad.com/calaware_today/page/2/ CalAware Today ] ] , as well as various awards including Distinguished Service to Journalism Education Award by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges and Champion of Journalism Education Award by the California Journalism Education Coalition .

ee also

*California State Senate elections, 2006


External links

* [http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/ Leland Y. Yee (Official California Senate Site)]
* [http://www.lelandyee.com State Senate Campaign Site]
* [http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/6127 Leland Yee Political History]
* [http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=60557 San Mateo County Votes Tally Complete]
* [http://www.asianamerican.net/bios/Yee-Leland.html Yee’s biography on Asian Americans.net]

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