Tony Thurmond is a state Assemblymember and has served the people of California for ten years in elected office. He is also a respected leader of non-profits for youth with a dozen years of experience. At every step, Tony has kept California's kids as his top priority. He knows how to get things done, and get results.
Tony was born at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, to a mother who immigrated here from Panama to become a teacher, and a father from Detroit who came to Fort Ord as part of his army service in Vietnam.
Tony’s father left the family when he was just a young child. Tony next saw his father when Tony was 39 years old. Tony’s mother raised her four children as a single mom until she became too sick to do so. When Tony was six years old his mother lost her battle to cancer.
Tony and his brother moved to Philadelphia to live with a cousin who raised them as her sons. This amazing woman provided the brothers with a safe home and made sure they got a great education. It was his public school education that helped Tony to become a 20-year social worker and ultimately to be elected to serve on a City Council, a School Board, and now in the California State Assembly.
That’s why Tony has made improving public education his top priority in the state assembly:
• Tony passed legislation to provide millions of dollars to school districts to keep kids in school and out of the criminal justice system.
• Tony fought for money to make sure that all California youth in foster care have the opportunity to go to college.
• Tony increased funding for early education programs.
• This year Tony is fighting to provide more money for preschool and after school programs by shifting $450 million from our criminal justice system into our early education and after school programs.
• Tony is working to expand school-based health, mental health, and social service programs to remove the barriers that impede the ability of many of our students to learn. This legislation will support students who are homeless or hungry or have experienced trauma.
• This year Tony is reducing our statewide teacher shortage by advocating for housing for teachers and other incentives to attract and retain great teachers.
Tony has deep roots in education. Between 2008 and 2012 he served on the West Contra County School Board. He oversaw truancy prevention programs, supported school based mental health programs, and launched a program called CEO Youth to teach entrepreneurship and life skills to disadvantaged students.
Tony served on the Richmond City Council from 2005-2008. While on the council he served as Liaison to Richmond’s Youth Commission and Workforce Investment Board and the Council Liaison to the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
Tony is a graduate and former student body president of Temple University. Assemblymember Thurmond did his graduate work at Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA) where he received dual Masters Degrees in Law and Social Policy and Social Work. Tony is the proud parent of two public school students. They are his inspiration, and a constant reminder about the promise of our neighborhood schools and the strong future that every child deserves.