The Honorable Joan Buchanan
Member of the California Assembly and Chairman of Budget Subcommittee #4
State of California
Assemblymember Joan Buchanan, elected to the State Assembly in November 2008, represents the 15th Assembly District, which includes portions of Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties and the communities of Brentwood, Danville, Elk Grove, Galt, Livermore, Oakley, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Stockton and Walnut Creek.
A member of the Assembly Budget Committee, Assemblymember Buchanan chairs the budget subcommittee on State Administration and Information Technology. She serves on a number of additional policy committees including, the Education, Transportation, Utilities and Commerce, and Accountability and Administrative Review committees. In 2009, she was appointed by the Speaker to the Special Education Commission and in 2010, the Speaker appointed her to the Standing Committee to the Judicial Council on Court Technology and to the State Allocations Board. She also chairs the Select Committee on Government Efficiency, Technology, and Innovation.
Since elected to the Assembly, Joan has focused on working with local leaders to solve problems. She authored a bill promoting pipeline safety and another helping local transit districts deter copper thieves from vandalizing public infrastructure. Joan worked with Save Mt. Diablo on a bill creating a public private partnership to restore the beacon on top of Mt. Diablo.
Joan has pursued a legislative agenda focused on fiscal accountability, technology and innovation, and job creation. She has been a proponent of performance based budgeting, using data to drive decision-making and the allocation of resources. She has authored several bills to improve the development and acquisition of information technology by the State of California, recognizing that technology is critical to providing timely and cost-effective services and information to the residents of California.
In 2012, Joan lead the Assembly’s review of the Governor’s Reorganization Plan successfully fighting for significant changes in the plan including technology acquisition, maintaining the independence of the California Transportation Commission and the Delta Stewardship Council, and retaining an Advisory Commission on Boating and Waterways.
Before being elected to the State Assembly, Joan served on the San Ramon Valley School Board for 18 years. During this time the District expanded and renovated facilities and improved core academic programs. The SRVUSD has received state and national recognition for student achievement, ranking among the top 5% of all school districts in California with over 94% of the district’s graduating seniors attending college or university.
Joan honed her financial and analytical skills at Delta Dental, becoming one of the fastest rising women in the company and Director of Commercial Operations before the age of 30. She left the private sector to raise her five children and in the process became one of the San Ramon Valley’s most effective community activists.
Her entrepreneurial approach resulted in a number of community firsts. As Vice-President of the San Ramon Valley School Age Child Care Alliance she helped bring school-age childcare to San Ramon Valley elementary schools; she successfully chaired the 1994 “No on Vouchers” campaign to protect public school funds; and as PTA President at Alamo Elementary, Joan created a coalition that raised money to build a much needed outdoor theater. Joan also helped establish a student exchange program between Stone Valley Middle School and the City of Troisk in the Soviet Union.
Joan is a 30 year resident of Alamo, CA and a native Californian. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.