Assemblywoman Catharine B. Baker represented the 16th Assembly District from 2014 through 2018. She is now Special Counsel at Hoge Fenton, where she advises businesses and non-profits.
During her legislative tenure, Catharine developed a reputation as an independent, bipartisan voice in the Legislature, fostering collaboration that led to breakthroughs in significant legislation, particularly on transportation, the environment, and government accountability. According to the Sacramento Bee, Baker had the most bipartisan record of any assemblymember in the 2015-2016 session. Her collaborative leadership made her one of the most effective members of the Assembly. In just four years, sixteen of her bills — all supporting education, transportation, public safety, and government efficiency — passed the Legislature with bipartisan support, and all sixteen were signed into law. Significant legislation included the creation of Valley Link, to construct a commuter rail connection between the Central Valley and Bay Area, and a new parking garage at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
Catharine is President of the Diablo Regional Arts Association, which supports professional arts access for families, students, and schools. She is a Board Director with California Women Lead, a statewide non-partisan non-profit that helps women attain appointed and elected office. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Livermore Lab Foundation, which supports STEM education as well as groundbreaking research endeavors at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Catharine is the Board Advisor to Tri-Valley APAPA (Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs). She is also a former member of the California State Bar Financial Institutions Committee.
- J.D., U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
- B.A., University of Chicago, with honors, Political Science
- U.S. District Court, Central & Northern Districts of California
Affiliation & Awards
Catharine received several awards for her work in the Legislature, including:
- California School Boards Association Legislator of the Year Award
- Crime Victims United Legislator of the Year
- March of Dimes Legislative Champion Award for leadership on key bills to support infant, child and maternal health
- American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network California Distinguished Advocacy Award for leadership on anti-tobacco reforms
- California Common Cause We the People Award for leadership in advancing inclusive democracy
- The Clean Money Campaign Champion of Clean Money Award
- The National Foundation for Women Legislators Elected Women of Excellence Award
- Developmental Disabilities Council Outstanding Legislator Award
- Early Edge California Early Learning Champion Award
- Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County Making A Difference Award for work broadening interfaith cooperation, tolerance, and understanding.