Assemblymember Toni Atkins was first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2010 to represent the 76th Assembly District. In 2012, she was re-elected to represent the newly redrawn 78th Assembly District which includes the coastal San Diego communities from Imperial Beach, along the Mexican border, north to Solana Beach, as well as most of central San Diego.
Atkins previously served as a member of the San Diego City Council, a position she held from 2000-2008. During her tenure on the Council, Ms. Atkins served as a member of a number of the Council's policy issue committees and as Acting Mayor in 2005 when the previous Mayor resigned. Prior to her election, Assemblymember Atkins also served on the staff of former Councilmember Christine Kehoe, who was later elected to both the State Assembly and Senate.
Assemblymember Atkins has battled for affordable housing throughout her public career, leading the charge to enact the nation's first Housing State of Emergency in San Diego. She also worked to create the first inclusionary housing policy and secured $55 million in housing funds for the construction of new affordable housing units throughout San Diego.
Assemblymember Atkins' other priorities include encouraging economic development, health care, and issues affecting veterans. Issues of concern to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have also been a high priority for Toni, as she represents the highest concentration of LGBT residents in San Diego.
Atkins serves on the Housing and Community Development, Health, Veterans, Agriculture and Joint Legislative Audit Committees. She has also been appointed by the Assembly Speaker as the Assembly Majority Leader, an important leadership position and the Assembly Redevelopment Working Group. She is chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Homelessness and represents the Assembly on the Ocean Protection Council and the California Historic and Cultural Endowment.
Assemblymember Atkins is originally from southwestern Virginia and graduated from Emory & Henry College with a degree in political science with a focus on community organizing. In July 2004, she completed the senior executive program at the prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Atkins currently lives in the South Park/Golden Hill community of San Diego with her spouse Jennifer LeSar and their dogs, Haley and Joey.