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Portrait of Toni G. Atkins

Toni G. Atkins

President pro Tempore

California State Senate

Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th Senate District, which includes San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, and parts of unincorporated Rancho Santa Fe. Atkins was born and raised in southwestern Virginia—the daughter of a miner and a seamstress—and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Emory & Henry College in Virginia. From her eight-year tenure on the San Diego City Council to her years in the Legislature, Atkins has dedicated her career to serving as a champion for affordable housing, the environment, healthcare, veterans, women, the LGBTQ community, and mitigating the increasing impacts of climate change. She has authored landmark legislation on housing, including SB 2, which created a permanent source of funding for affordable housing, a signature piece of legislation she worked on for several years, and SB 9, which streamlined the process for homeowners to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in single-family zones. In 2022, Pro Tem Atkins introduced the ‘California Dream for All Program,’ an innovative new way for the state to help first-time homebuyers dramatically lower or eliminate their down-payment requirements and lower monthly mortgage payments. That same year, she authored several critical pieces of legislation, including SB 1375, which allows qualified nurse practitioners to provide abortions without the supervision of a physician, and SCA 10, a constitutional amendment to make explicit the fundamental right to abortion and contraceptives. She was the first San Diegan and first lesbian Speaker of the Assembly, and in March 2018, became the first woman and openly LGBTQ person to lead the California State Senate. She is the first person in 150 years, and the third person in California history, to lead both houses of the Legislature.