Fiona Ma, CPA
Speaker pro Tempore
Fiona Ma was first elected to represent the people of California’s 12th Assembly District from November 2006 to November 2012 (after serving the maximum of three terms.) She was the #112th woman to ever be elected to the California Legislature and the first Asian women to ever serve as Speaker pro Tempore since 1850.
The 12th Assembly District represented 450,000 and included the cities of San Francisco, Daly City, Colma and Broadmoor.
Interests in Business and Politics
Assemblywoman Ma first became interested in politics as a small business owner and a Certified Public Accountant advocating on behalf of other small businesses. She was an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business under President Bill Clinton, which produced a report to Congress on the 60 top policy recommendations to help small businesses grow and prosper in the 21st century.
She formally entered the field of politics in 1995, serving as a part-time district representative for the former President pro Tempore of the California Senate, John Burton. It was a position that would last for seven years, after which she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where she served for four years until 2006. During her tenure on the Board of Supervisors, she authored the landmark Local Business Enterprise ordinance on behalf of women and minority business owners and passed legislation to tackle human trafficking.
Groundbreaking Toxic Legislation
Building on her work combating toxic chemicals in San Francisco, Assemblywoman Ma authored groundbreaking legislation to ban toxic chemicals, known as phthalates, in baby products statewide. AB 1108 was a first such law in the nation and was signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2007. It became the model for the federal amendment on the same subject, authored by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, which was signed into law as part of the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
Key Committee Assignments
Assemblywoman Ma served on key Assembly committees, including Agriculture; Business and Professions; Governmental Organization, Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security; and Utilities and Commerce. She also served on the following Select Committees: Domestic Violence; Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Foster Care; Preservation of California’s Entertainment Industry; Rail Transportation; Regional Approaches to Addressing the State’s Water Crisis; and Safety and Protection of At-Risk Communities in CA; and the Joint Committee on Fairs, Allocation and Classification and the Joint Committee for the Protection of Lake Tahoe.
As Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Domestic Violence, she worked on legislation to protect victims of domestic violence. She authored groundbreaking legislation to protect consumers, help California’s working families pay the bills, prevent the spread of Hepatitis B, increase access to quality healthcare, and provide equal rights for all Californians. She was a strong advocate for better neighborhoods, authoring laws to combat graffiti, recycling theft and disabled placard abuse. As a joint author of Proposition 1-A, which was approved by voters in November, 2008, she was the legislature’s leading advocate to bring high-speed trains to California.
State, National, and International Outreach
Assemblywoman Ma took a lead in promoting trade and fostering relationships between California and Asia. For the past 10 years, she has led legislative delegations to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.
She focused on improving California’s bottom line and authored legislation to create jobs in California and grow the state’s economy. As an Executive Board Member of the National Conference of State Legislators, she worked to keep California competitive with other states.
She also served as the Western Region Director of Women in Government; Executive Board Member of the California Democratic Party; Honorary Chair of the San Francisco Hep B Free Campaign; Honorary California Chair of the New Leaders Council (partial list)
In order to foster the same dedication in younger generations, Assemblywoman Ma was active in working with Bay Area youth. Her Internship Program (affectionately known as the “Ma Squad”) engaged students in various activities and policy tasks. In addition to the traditional function of our Capitol Office Interns, the District Office drew 20-30 interns during the fall and spring school semesters, primarily from the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University and City College of San Francisco.
The summer months brought in up to 50 interns from bay area middle and high schools, as well as private and public universities from across the country. This youth development program had ties not only with the San Francisco Unified and Jefferson School Districts but also with non-profit programs like SPARK (providing apprenticeships to re-engage at-risk youth) and Coro (providing leadership opportunities for 11th graders).
This past spring, high school sophomores and juniors in the Assemblywoman’s district, with a passion for community service, participated in the first AD12 Civic Engagement and Service Institute, a leadership program consisting of seminars, speakers and hands-on learning all related to civic engagement and public service. This program was designed to inspire our youth to get involved in our communities, providing them with non-partisan and innovative tools to make a difference on a day-to-day basis.
Assemblywoman Ma received her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University (SF), and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She has been licensed in California as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) since 1992.