Leland Y. Yee,
Assistant Speaker pro Tempore
California State Assembly
Assemblymember Leland Yee emigrated at the age of three to San Francisco from
China. He was educated in San Francisco's public schools and
received his degree from UC Berkeley. He also attended San
Francisco State University where he earned his master's degree
and decided his life's work would revolve around helping
children. Dr. Yee met and married his wife Maxine during his
studies and together they raised four children and educated them
in San Francisco's public schools.
Assemblymember Yee worked hard to earn his doctorate in Child Psychology.
He helped children as a therapist in the City's Children's
Division of the Mental Health Department and in the Oakland
School District as a psychologist. Dr. Yee also worked for a
nonprofit agency called Asian Americans for Community
Involvement, which served low-income people in the community.
After many years
dedicating his career to the children, Dr. Yee
decided to take his vision and run for the San Francisco School
Board. He was successful in 1988 and began his work in public
life. Dr. Yee fought for two terms to help direct more of the tax
dollars to the people who needed it the most: the children. He
improved services, updated educational materials and reduced
class sizes in the schools.
In eight years on the school board, including a term as Board
President, Dr. Yee gained a reputation as a reformer. While on the
School Board, he ordered performance and financial audits of all
schools, departments and programs in the San Francisco Unified
School District. Dr. Yee also established a Budget Committee to
monitor the School District's finances and caused the district to
establish performance standards and financial disclosures when
awarding instructional and facilities contracts.
After his tenure on the School Board,
Dr. Yee decided to take his campaign for children to the Board of
Supervisors and successfully ran in 1996. He quickly became a
voice at City Hall for the most needy in the City: seniors, families and children.
He also became an avid watchdog who fought hard for fiscal
responsibility as Chair of the Finance Committee and passed the
largest "Rainy Day" budget reserve fund in San Francisco's
history. Dr. Yee never wavered from his commitment to bringing
government to the people. He became the first Supervisor to hold
budget hearings in San Francisco neighborhoods, making it easier
for communities to participate in the budget process.
Dr. Yee's pledge
to the kids is evident in the many initiatives
and programs he sponsored in his capacity as Supervisor. He
considered his highlight in office to be the development of the
pioneering "Integrated Service Model." This innovative program
opened schools during the day and evening to provide tutoring,
adult education, childcare, sports programs, counseling and
health services for the families. He co-sponsored and passed a
law limiting tobacco advertising in schools while ensuring that
at least $1 million in annual funding from the tobacco lawsuit
settlement was earmarked for youth tobacco education, prevention
and control programs. As Supervisor, Assemblyman Yee authored and passed a
resolution to oppose the issuance of liquor licenses to
businesses within 600 feet of schools.
Yee understands that our kids not only need to be protected
from alcohol and tobacco, but also need youth oriented programs
to keep them involved in healthy activities. That's why he won
funding for youth recreation, opened gyms for basketball and
secured new computers with Internet access for his District's
Described as a "Fiscal Pit Bull" by one local reporter,
has earned the reputation as a fiscally responsible member of the
Board of Supervisors. He has not shied away from his duty to
taxpayers. He has established himself as a voice for reform and
ardent opponent of sweetheart deals and government waste.
As Chair of the Finance Committee,
Assemblyman Yee led the battle
against overtime and workmen's compensation abuse in city
government by implementing holdbacks to force greater
accountability. He helped pass the Sunshine Ordinance, allowing
the public real access to what goes on at City Hall. Assemblyman
discovered lack of oversight and numerous delays on many city
funded projects. He introduced and passed the General Obligation
Bond Accountability Act that compels each government entity to
report fiscal expenditures and the status of projects.
Through 13 years of public service, including eight years on
the San Francisco School Board and two terms as a San Francisco
Supervisor, Assemblyman Yee has shown the difference one person can
When it comes to advocating for our children, standing up for
our neighborhoods and fighting for fiscally responsible
government, nobody has been stronger and more effective than
Assemblyman Leland Yee.
As a leader in the California Assembly,
Assemblyman Yee will use
his experience to make schools, families and seniors a priority
again. He will fight for San Francisco's fair share of state
resources and will protect taxpayers and ratepayers from high