In his long career in public service, Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro has served in both houses of the California Legislature and on the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Arcata City Council.
Throughout his life as a public servant, Mr. Chesbro has been a passionate advocate for the environment, authoring ground-breaking legislation to promote responsible waste management and recycling. Other issues that are a part of his legacy in government include increasing Californian’s access to education and health care, protecting services for veterans and ensuring that those with physical and developmental disabilities have the resources they need to lead quality lives.
Mr. Chesbro moved from Southern California to the North Coast in 1969 to attend Humboldt State College in Arcata. Even before he won his first election to public office, Chesbro devoted much of his time fighting for the environment. One of his earliest political victories was spearheading a campaign to convince Humboldt County voters to reject a proposal to flood the Butler Valley. Chesbro cofounded the Arcata Community Recycling Center in 1971 and served as its first director. The ACRC was one of earliest community recycling centers in California and remained in existence for 40 years – long after most others had closed.
Chesbro also cofounded the Northcoast Environmental Center and served as its first executive director. He also helped defeat the peripheral canal, fought to save local open space and has championed coastal protection laws, including being a leader in the fight against off-shore oil drilling off the North Coast of California.
Chesbro won his first election at age 22 in 1974, when voters in Arcata elected him to the City Council. He won re-election in 1978. In 1980 he was elected to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, representing District 3, and won re-election in 1984 and 1988.
After 10 years of service on the Board of Supervisors, in 1990 the California State Senate appointed Chesbro to serve as an inaugural member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board. The CIWMB was a first-of-its-kind body that had great success implementing the nation’s most comprehensive recycling law (AB 939, passed in 1989), which made California the leader in recycling and diverting waste away from environmentally destructive landfills.
In 1998 Chesbro ran for the State Senate in District 2, defeating an opponent who substantially out-spent him. He won re-election to the Senate in 2002. During his eight-year tenure in the Senate, Chesbro chaired the Senate’s Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Health and Human Services Committee, Standing Committee on Revenue and Taxation, and the Select Committees on California’s Wine Industry. He also served as a member of the following committees: Education, Environmental Quality, Governmental Organization, Health, Human Services, and Veterans Affairs.
While in the Senate, Chesbro authored legislation to maintain funding for rural community clinics, protect California’s natural resources, guarantee individuals with special needs have adequate housing, establish incentives for recycling, and ensure rural law enforcement agencies are fully funded.
After finishing two terms in the Senate in 2006, Mr. Chesbro was once again appointed to the California Integrated Waste Management Board. He also served on the California Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission and as a board member for Open Door Community Health Centers and the Humboldt Bay Housing and Development Corporation.
In November 2008, voters on the North Coast elected Chesbro to serve as their representative once again in the Legislature, this time in the State Assembly, District One. The First Assembly District stretches from Bodega Bay to the Oregon border, encompassing all of Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Lake and Mendocino counties, and Northern and Western Sonoma County. Voters re-elected Chesbro to the Assembly in 2010.
Chesbro’s accomplishments in the Assembly include authoring a comprehensive recycling bill, AB 341, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2011. AB 341 will take California to the next level in environmentally responsible waste management. The legislation nudges the state toward recycling 75 percent of its waste over the next decade. A large component of meeting this goal is a provision in AB 341 to increase commercial recycling by establishing programs in local communities where they don’t currently exist.
Chesbro and his wife Cindy recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and are the parents of two sons, Alan and Collin.
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0002
Tel: (916) 319-2002
Fax: (916) 319-2102
(Also represents Del Norte and Trinity Counties)
710 E Street, Suite 150
Eureka, CA 95501
Tel: (707) 445-7014
Fax: (707) 445-6607
Ukiah Valley Conference Center
200 S. School St. Suite D
Ukiah, CA 95482
Tel: (707) 463-5770
Fax: (707) 463-5773
50 "D" Street, Suite 450
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tel: (707) 576-2526
Fax: (707) 576-2297