Biography

Thank you for visiting my official Assembly website.

I was elected in 2014 and am proud to serve the people in California’s 2nd Assembly District, which comprises all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa -- the beautiful North Coast.

I have lived in Northern California since 1987, when I opened my family dental practice in Cloverdale. I was elected to the Healdsburg City Council in 2006 and served two terms as mayor. My goals, in that position, were to make local government more effective and efficient through reorganizing city departments, balancing the budget, working on environmental and health issues, and streamlining the building permit process. During my time as mayor, we were able to pass a local ordinance prohibiting the sale of tobacco to anyone younger than 21.

Since being elected to the Assembly, my priorities continue to be environmental protection, economic development and health care. I have been chair of the Assembly Health Committee since early 2016.

In my first three years in the Assembly, I have been successful in passing legislation to protect and expand access to medical, dental and mental health care in rural areas, curb the marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies and increase public transparency in how they set prices; protect residents of nursing homes from closures; prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills, increase the age to 21 for the purchase of tobacco products, protect funding for air ambulance services and, most importantly, begin the process of identifying how California can provide health care to all. 

I also passed legislation to protect the environment including funding for managing our working lands and forests, protecting our watershed from abuse, and obtained funding to clean up environmental damage from illegal cannabis grows. Cannabis continues to be a significant part of the North Coast economy and I was involved in the development of medical cannabis regulations to protect small farmers and ensure that rules and licensing processes are accessible to small businesses. 

A top priority for 2018 will be my work co-chairing the Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage and putting forward recommendations on how to get to universal health care for all Californians. I will also continue to work on protecting the environment, ensuring adequate funding for state parks, rebuilding after the state's wildfires, improving our emergency response notification systems, continued expansion of broadband infrastructure in rural areas and addressing the housing shortage, the serious opioid crisis, ever-escalating prescription drug prices and the role pharmacy benefit managers play.

In addition to my work in the state Legislature, I am proud to serve as a forensic dentistry expert consultant for five Northern California counties. I established a mass disaster identification team in California and helped pass state legislation to standardize county identification procedures, a model now adopted by other states. I am called regularly to support efforts in several Northern California counties and had the honor to assist in many disasters including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Valley Fire in Lake County, and most recently, the tragic wildfires in northern California and hopes that my service provides some closure to family and loved ones.