Democrat Serving in the State Assembly
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan was elected to the State Assembly in 2018 to represent the 16th Assembly District. She immediately made her mark on the legislature when she was selected by her colleagues to serve in the Assembly leadership as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore and Chair of the Select Committee on Women's Reproductive Health – the first committee of its kind in the nation.
In the Assembly, Rebecca has focused on issues that reflect our community's values and delivering resources that our region desperately needs. She has passed 15 pieces of legislation, all which received bipartisan support, including bills to strengthen gun safety, protect victims of sexual exploitation, provide better access to health care, streamline government services, improve the environment and more. She also secured millions for local projects.
Before serving her community in the Assembly, Rebecca was an accomplished attorney, environmental advocate, community volunteer, law professor and mother. As an attorney, Rebecca specialized in ensuring major corporations complied with environmental laws and regulations by leading internal investigations to improve their environmental practices, while maintaining profitability. She also oversaw and grew her office’s pro bono program to include civil rights, immigration, homelessness and domestic violence.
Rebecca is the granddaughter of refugees, who came to the United States to escape the Holocaust. They were able to secure a sponsor, a stranger who made a great sacrifice to allow them to survive – and thrive. Their experience has shaped Rebecca's perspective, inspiring her to help others in her own community. That included coordinating the legal services effort at SFO on behalf of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to assist refugees and immigrants impacted by the Trump Administration’s travel ban.
Rebecca is a proud Bay Area native and a product of public schools. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University Law Center. She and her husband, Darren, live in Orinda with their three young children.
I originally ran for the Assembly to make our community better, to stand up for what’s right and to work on solving some of our community’s – and our state’s – most pressing issues. And I have done that by bringing my passion for solving problems to get things done on the issues that matter most to our families and delivering for our community.
After being sworn in, I immediately rolled up my sleeves and got to work for our community. I was honored to be selected by my colleagues to serve in the Assembly leadership as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore.
In the Assembly, I have focused on issues that reflect our community's values and delivering resources that our region desperately needs. And I have worked across party lines to put our community before politics and get things done, including securing millions for local projects, including local parks and recreation programs, local environmental programs and more.
I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish by working together. I look forward to continuing to work with you to make our community better.
100% Bipartisan Record
Fifteen bills introduced by Rebecca have been passed by the legislature – and every single one of them have received support from both Democrats and Republicans. She has prided herself on working across the aisle to do what’s best for our community, including working to get PPE for local medical professionals, and help connect those in need with essential resources.
As the Founder and Chair of the Select Committee on Women's Reproductive Health – the first select committee in the nation dedicated to women's reproductive health, Rebecca is a leader on protecting women's health and a woman's right to choose. As the Trump Administration and right-wing extremists attempt to restrict the use of birth control, defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade, Rebecca won’t be afraid to take them on.
Rebecca understands the value of tax dollars and is working to ensure state funding is used efficiently and effectively. As we work towards recovery from the budget crisis caused by COVID-19, Rebecca has made tough decisions to protect essential programs, while ensuring our state budget remains balanced.
Rebecca has passed legislation, recently signed by the Governor, that will save the state millions of dollars through smarter, streamlined fiscal practices (AB 2483). And another bill that saved taxpayer money by streamlining the development process for certain transportation projects (AB 1475).
As a mother of young children, Rebecca is committed to keeping California a national leader in gun safety policy. She has made gun violence prevention efforts a primary focus of her campaign work in the Assembly, which is why she is the only candidate to have earned the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction.
Rebecca has passed bipartisan bills to strengthen gun safety laws by prohibiting anyone who goes through a court-ordered mental health from possessing a firearm while in the program (AB 1121) and modernizing the process that oversees the transfer of firearms in estates or trusts (AB 1292).
As the mother of three young children in public schools and a product of Bay Area public schools herself, Rebecca has made our schools and student success her top priorities in the Assembly. She is fighting to ensure our education system is fully funded and that every child is given the opportunity to succeed.
When COVID-related budget decisions threatened California’s public schools, Rebecca held her ground to protect our schools – ensuring our schools remain a top priority. She has also passed legislation to fund our public schools by bringing California's education spending up to the national per pupil average or higher (AB 39).
She is also fighting to keep college affordable so that every child has the opportunity to earn a college degree, including pass a bill to remove income exclusions which penalize families on CalWORKs (AB 807). And she worked to provide key protections for the nearly 100,000 California students who attend online for-profit and out-of-state schools by requiring these schools comply with state accreditation requirements (AB 1344).
She remains focused on ensuring our children get a top-level education from pre-k through college by fully funding our public schools and guaranteeing universal pre-school so that every child has the opportunity to succeed. Studies show that student success begins at a young age and early education is proven to produce tremendous results. Preschool is economically advisable as well, proven to yield a high return on investment for our communities by reducing teen pregnancies and crime and improving overall earning power.
She has also supported funding vocational and career technical education programs that help our economy grow and efforts to help college students graduate without crippling debt.
Rebecca knows first hand the transportation issues facing our community. Our roads are in rough shape, our infrastructure is crumbling, and BART is unsafe and unreliable. That is why she is focusing on delivering resources for our community that will ease our regional transportation congestion, reducing traffic and improving transportation options for everyone. She is a stronger voice to ensure our district has a voice at the table to advocate and deliver for us in Sacramento.
In the Assembly, she is working to improve transportation options, finding traffic solutions and investing in our crumbling infrastructure, including fixing our roads, working to make BART more reliable and safer, creating more BART parking, and working to connect the Central Valley and the Tri-Valley to the rest of the Bay Area.
She has helped local governments earn more funding from competitive state transportation grants so our region is able to get our fair share of state transportation funding. And passed a bill to improve transportation construction projects around the state.
Rebecca has worked to increase access to quality, affordable health care. As the Trump Administration tries to overturn the ACA and end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, Rebecca is ready to protect coverage for those who need it.
In the Assembly, she authored a bill to help ensure Californians have more access to quality, affordable health care by streamlining the open enrollment period for Covered California (AB 1309). And she took on big tobacco by co-sponsoring legislation to ban the sales of flavored tobacco to kids.
She also worked to protect children and adults alike with severe food allergies from health risks by requiring food servers to understand of allergens and cross-contamination issues by authoring a bill in honor of Natalie Giorgi, who died at 13 years old after being exposed to a deadly allergen at summer camp (AB 1532)
A former environmental lawyer, Rebecca is dedicated to protecting the environment and battling climate change. She increased penalties for those who illegally dump garbage and pollute our communities (AB 1216) and worked to electrify and modernize California's ports (AB 1594).
She has also helped small farmers succeed, reducing water consumption and protecting drinking water by codifying a program to provide small farms with grants to convert to micro-irrigation systems (AB 1086).
Diminishing the Threat of Wildfires
As we face an unprecedented threat from wildfires, Rebecca is taking action to keep us safe and hold those responsible accountable, including PG&E, by introducing the Utility Accountability and Wildfire Prevention Act (AB 2356). As the effects of climate change intensify wildfires across the West, Rebecca has led efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and protect our environment.
Stopping Human Trafficking
Rebecca has protected victims of human trafficking from retribution by protecting their privacy when seeking professional help (AB 1735) and prevented the sexual exploitation of our youth by ensuring court-ordered visitation monitors are required to go through background checks before interacting with children (AB 1175).