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CA State Assembly Member, Emeritus

Bill Quirk

Bill Quirk joined SIEPR as a Policy Fellow in December 2022. Between 2013 and 2022, he served in the California Legislature as a California State Assembly Member representing Southern Alameda County. His most important legislative achievements included:

·       Shortening the permit time for improvements in the cell phone infrastructure.  This approach was adopted by the Federal Government for the entire country.

·       Making it illegal to hold a cell phone in your hand while driving. This gave officers a red line they could easily enforce.

·       Aligning California’s regulation of toxic materials cosmetics with the European Union. 

·       Having the legislature declare that August would be Muslim Appreciation and Awareness Month. 

Bill served on the following committees:

·       Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials 2017-22 (As Chair)

·       Revenue and Tax 2015-2022

·       Appropriations 2013-2022

·       Agriculture 2013-2015

·       Utilities and Energy 2013-2022

·       Public Safety 2013-2022 (As Chair 2015-16).

Bill served on the Hayward City Council from 2004-2011. During that time, he persuaded the City of Hayward and the two neighboring park districts to protect the Hayward Shoreline from Sea Level Rise by building up Hayward's marshes. This philosophy has spread throughout the Bay Area, first with the Rising Tides program looking at the southeast bay and now through the Estuary Institute's study that designated what parts of the bay would be best protected by building up the marshes. This approach is now being used nationwide.

Bill worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 1981 to 1985 as a scientific computer programmer, nuclear weapons designer, and intelligence analyst. His most important work was to show that the plutonium parts of the US nuclear weapons could be reused. This success was one factor in the closing of the plutonium fabrication facility, Rocky Flats. As an intelligence analyst, He was one of the country’s experts on the technical aspects of foreign nuclear weapons programs. 

Bill earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Astrophysics for developing the first computer model for showing how a gas cloud could collapse into a spiral galaxy of gas and stars.