Senator Ellen M. Corbett is serving her second term in the state Senate and was elected Senate Majority Leader by her fellow Democrats on December 6, 2010.
As Majority Leader, Senator Corbett is responsible for setting the Democratic agenda, managing the Senate’s Floor operations and the chief advisor in political matters and strategy to the Senate President Pro Tempore.
Throughout her career she has focused on strengthening California’s economy, standing up for consumers and protecting our natural resources while encouraging the growth of our green economy.
Among the landmark legislation she has passed are laws to give consumers more information about bottled water, allow cash back for gift cards worth up to $10 and give car buyers additional protections.
Senator Corbett was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and was reelected in 2010. She represents the 10th Senate District, an East Bay district that includes the cities of San Leandro, Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Pleasanton, Milpitas and Newark and part of San Jose, as well as the communities of Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and Sunol.
A lawyer and civic activist, she is dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers, encouraging educational opportunities and working to grow California’s economy.
As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for four years, Senator Corbett, worked to make sure our laws are fair and effective.
Senator Corbett successfully passed a law that allows consumers to receive cash in exchange for a gift card worth less than $10. California gift cards have no expiration date.
Another law by Senator Corbett requires bottled water producers to provide essential water quality information to consumers and list the source of their water on the label. It also requires bottled water companies to publish a Consumer Confidence Report on their website enabling consumers to easily find information about the quality of their bottled water
A major effort led to the passage and governor’s signature on a bill improving compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was the first comprehensive reform of access laws in more than 17 years.
Other legislative efforts include reducing prescription drug costs, restoring the wetlands along the Bay and increasing tenants’ rights in cases of foreclosures.
Senator Corbett also authored the Car Buyers Protection Act to give customers more safeguards when they purchase a vehicle. This law prevents car dealers from selling a car unless they pay off its lien. Consumers will be protected from having their credit ruined if the dealer goes out of business.
Senator Corbett has a long history of public service in the district. She served as a city councilmember and was the first woman elected mayor of San Leandro. Prior to that, she worked as an attorney, community college professor and civic activist.
Senator Corbett maintains a strong connection to her district. She has worked to secure funding for transportation improvements, environmental projects and economic development opportunities.
Senator Corbett has received numerous awards during her legislative career. In 2008, she was named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California and an Outstanding Legislator by the California State Sheriff’s Association.
She has also received honors from the California Labor Federation, the Consumer Federation of California, the American Cancer Society, the California Congress of Seniors and the Sierra Club of California.
In the Legislature, Sen. Corbett is the chair of the Biotechnology Select Committee, the Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness Select Committee and the Green Jobs, Solar Wind and Clean Technologies Select Committee. She also sits on the select committees for California’s Horse Racing Industry, California’s Wine Industry, and Privacy. Additionally, Sen. Corbett is a member of the Business, Professions and Economic Development Standing Committee, the Energy Utilities and Communications Standing Committee, the Government Organization Standing Committee, the Insurance Standing Committee, and the Judiciary Standing Committee. She also serves on the Joint Committee on Rules.
Senator Corbett represents the State Senate on the CA Commission on Disability Access and the California Commission on Uniform State Laws.
A native Californian and life-long resident of the East Bay, Sen. Corbett attended local schools, including Chabot Community College and California State University, Hayward. She graduated from the University of California, Davis and McGeorge Law School. Prior to her legislative career, Sen. Corbett practiced civil law.