About john gioia (Pronounced joy-A)
My love for our area – for its diversity, innovation, natural beauty, and neighborliness – fuel my commitment to public service, which was first inspired by my father, a popular civics and history teacher at Kennedy High School in Richmond.
I was raised in West County and grew up in El Cerrito and Richmond. I graduated from El Cerrito High School and U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Science and a law degree.
I’ve since stayed in West County, making my home in Richmond, where I have raised my two kids: a 25-year-old son, and 13-year-old daughter. I hope I have passed some of my dad’s deep faith in democracy to my own children.
I was first elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors in 1998 and was honored to have been overwhelmingly re-elected four times to represent 210,000 residents in the most urban area of the county.
I got my start in elected office by serving ten years on the East Bay Municipal Utility District Board (EBMUD) board as a protector of healthy, clean drinking water and public watersheds. I also practiced law, mainly serving local small businesses.
Through my decades of community-based work, I’ve earned a reputation as a coalition-builder, leading successful partnerships for youth, affordable housing, violence prevention, environmental justice, accessible healthcare and public transportation, and fairness and equity in our justice system.
I’m a firm believer in the strength of collaboration, especially to solve our most pressing issues.
This includes working with community, labor, environmental and business leaders to ensure that Contra Costa County provides quality services to our residents, especially our most vulnerable families. I’m proud that we’ve done this in a financially responsible way, maintaining the county’s fiscal health and earning a AAA credit rating.
Growing up and raising my family near industry, I know first-hand the importance of making our air cleaner and healthier. This mission goes hand-in-hand with fighting climate change.
I’m dedicated to this work. I have served as a board member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District since 2006, and the California Air Resources Board (appointed by Governor Brown in 2013), where I’ve helped lead efforts to pass new regulations to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy.
I also understand the environmental and economic importance of a clean and healthy San Francisco Bay.
As the longest serving member of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, I’ve worked to protect the Bay shoreline from development and significantly increased public access to our shared natural treasure.
As Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, I helped lead a successful effort to pass a historic measure to raise $500 million for Bay improvements.
Clean air and clean water are essential to our health and prosperity. So are public safety, and equal opportunities for quality education and livable wage employment. That’s why I took on the role of co-chairing Rise Together, a regional effort to reduce poverty in the Bay Area.
And I’m deeply proud of working with youth leaders to open the innovative RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, which is grounded on principles of social justice and youth leadership. This work continues with our development of an urban educational farm in North Richmond, a collaboration with the local non-profit Urban Tilth.
I admit to spending most of my leisure time right here at home, with great people, culture and beauty. If you see me walking my dog along the beautiful Richmond shoreline, say hello!