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Inventory of the Wilma Chan Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • California State Assembly, 2001-2006
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Wilma Chan Papers
    Dates: 2001-2006
    Collection number: LP459
    Creator: Wilma Chan, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 13.5 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Wilma Chan was elected to the California State Assembly in 2000 and served until 2006. The Wilma Chan Papers consists of 13.5 cubic feet of textual records reflecting Chan's legislative activity during her time as member of the California State Assembly.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Wilma Chan Papers, LP459:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Wilma Chan Papers following her final term in the State Legislature.


    Wilma Chan, Democrat, served in the State Assembly from 2001 to 2006. Chan represented the 16th Assembly District, which included Oakland, Piedmont, and Alameda in Alameda County.
    Chan was born on October 5, 1949 in Boston, Massachusetts. She attended Wellesley College where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She earned her Master of Arts degree in education policy from Stanford University. Wilma Chan is married to Carl Zeff, a public school teacher. Chan has two children from her marriage: a daughter, Jennifer and son, Daren. Prior to her work in the Assembly, Chan was program coordinator for Effective Parenting Information for Children. Chan was elected as the first Asian American to serve on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 1994 and remained in this position until 2000. She also served on the Oakland Board of Education, 1990-1994, prior to her election to the California State Assembly.
    Wilma Chan was elected to the State Assembly in 2000. Chan's legislative interests focused predominately on: children’s issues, health care, jobs, trade, and education. Legislation introduced by Chan included a ban on toxic flame retardants, a $100 million dollar expansion of State Preschool programs, and legislation protecting uninsured children. She served as Assembly Majority Whip from 2001-2002. Chan is the first woman and first Asian American Majority Leader of the California State Assembly, 2002-2004. Chan termed out of her Assembly seat in 2006.
    After her time in the Assembly, Chan acted as the Legislator in Residence at UC Berkley where she taught political science for two years, 2006-2007. She ran an unsuccessful campaign against Loni Hancock for California State Senate, District 9 in 2008. Chan served four years on the California Medical Assistance Commission working on hospital care for Medical patients. She also completed a stint as Vice President for Policy at Children Now, a child advocacy organization based out of Oakland. Wilma Chan was re-elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 2010.
    Chan received numerous awards during her tenure in public service. These awards include: Person of the Year: World Journal, Legislator of the Year: Oakland East Bay Democratic Club, and Rising Star Award: CA League of Conservation Voters.
    According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks) and the Assembly Final History, Chan served on the following committees:

    California State Assembly, 2001-2006

    • Standing Committees:
    • Aging and Long Term Care, 2001-2002
    • Banking and Finance, 2001-2002
    • Budget, 2001-2006
    • Governmental Organization, 2001-2002
    • Health, 2001-2006
    • *Chair, 2005-2006
    • Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy, 2001-2004
    • Labor and Employment, 2003-2006
    • Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security, 2001-2004
    • Transportation, 2003-2006
    • Select Committees:
    • Air and Water Quality, 2001-2004
    • Airports and the Airline Industry, 2003-2004
    • Asian Trade, 2001-2004
    • *Chair, 2001-2004
    • California's Children’s School Readiness and Health, 2001-2006
    • *Chair, 2001-2006
    • California’s Foreign Trade Offices, 2003-2004
    • California-Mexico Affairs, 2001-2002
    • California Ports, 2003-2004
    • Cancer Detection, Prevention and Research, 2003-2004
    • Childhood Obesity and Related Diabetes, 2003-2004
    • Community Colleges, 2005-2006
    • Environmental Justice, 2003-2004
    • Equal Access to Preschool, 2003-2004
    • Future of California's Health, 2003-2004
    • Foster Care, 2005-2006
    • Gang Violence and Juvenile Crimes, 2003-2004
    • Language and Access to the Government, 2001-2004
    • *Co-Chair, 2001-2004
    • Los Angeles Health Care Crisis, 2005-2006
    • Olmstead Implementation, 2005-2006
    • Ports, 2005-2006
    • Urban Revitalization, 2001-2002
    • Subcommittees:
    • Education Finance, No. 2 (Budget), 2001-2006
    • International Trade (Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy), 2001-2002
    • Joint Committees:
    • Develop a Master Plan to End Poverty in California, 2003-2004
    • Legislative Audit, 2003-2004
    • *Co-Chair, 2003-2004

    Scope and Content

    The Wilma Chan papers consist of 13.5 cubic feet of textual records reflecting Chan's legislative activity during her time as member of the California State Assembly. The collection is organized into one record series: Bill Files, 2001-2006.
    The bills introduced by Wilma Chan address a wide array of subjects. Bill files are particularly useful for researchers interested in children's health, nutrition, and fitness programs; Medi-Cal; substance abuse; and pesticide regulation. Wilma Chan authored bills concerning children's education, environmental issues related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), mental health assistance, elder care, school safety, and planning and development.


    No further accruals are expected.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Chan, Wilma
    Education, Elementary - California
    Mental health laws - California