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Dan Hamburg Biography

Dan Hamburg has resided in the Fifth District since 1986. He was was a school teacher and an anti-poverty activist when first elected...

Dan with Judi Bari and David Brower

Dan Hamburg came to Mendocino County in order to join the teaching staff of Mariposa School, where he taught from 1971 through 1975. In 1976, Dan was hired as director of the Ukiah Valley Child Development Center. That year he was also appointed to the Ukiah Planning Commission, on which he served until his election to the Board of Supervisors in 1980. While on the Board, the county wrote and passed its first legal General Plan and Local Coastal Plan. These documents have stood the test of time.

In 1992, Dan was elected to the House of Representatives from the first congressional district. The district ran from the Oregon border to the Carquinez Strait, 350 miles from north to south and encompassing six counties. During his single term in office, Dan worked for single-payer national health care, protecting old-growth forests, reducing the military budget, restoring fisheries, and much more.

In 1994, Dan lost his reelection in a national Republican landslide. The Democrats lost the House for the first time in 5 decades!

In 1995, Dan was hired by the National Democratic Institute, the “foreign policy arm of the Democratic Party,” as an advisor to the new government of Nelson Mandela. He spent a year training provincial legislators of all parties, but worked predominantly with the African National Congress (ANC), Mandela’s party.

Dan became executive director of Voice of the Environment in 1996. In that capacity, he has worked on many political campaigns including stopping a nuclear waste dump at Ward Valley, turning back an attempt by Wal-Mart, Inc. to restrict first amendment rights, protecting California’s “heritage trees,” and much more.

Over the four decades Dan has lived in Mendocino County, including the last 24 years in the Fifth District, he has always been engaged in local political issues. In the recent past, he was a leader of the Measure H campaign to ban genetically-modified organisms in the county. This ordinance was the first of its kind in the United States. He also worked hard to defeat Measure B, believing that the restrictions it placed on medical cannabis growers would lead to a frenzy of law enforcement action against small growers and resulting expense to the county.

Dan Hamburg will be on the ballot in the June primary next year. He welcomes your support and involvement...

Want to know how you can help?

Vote for Dan Hamburg 5th District Supervisor at the Primary Election in June 2010.

EDUCATION Stanford University, BA
California Institute of Integral Studies, MA

Mariposa School (teacher, 1971-1975)

Ukiah Valley Child Development Center (director, 1976-1980)

Ukiah Planning Commission (1975-1980)

Mendocino County Board of Supervisors (1981-1985)

Taishan China Study Program (founding director, 1984-1990)

North Coast Opportunities (executive director, 1986-1988)

US House of Representatives (member, 1993-1995)

National Democratic Institute (program associate, 1995)

Ukiah Natural Foods Board of Directors (member, 2006-present)

Forests Forever Board of Directors (member, 2007-present)

Voice of the Environment (executive director, 1996-present)


Married to Carrie (35 years)
2 sons, 2 daughters, 6 granddaughters
Two dogs, one rooster, 8 hens


Mendocino County Board of Supervisors

Served as chairman of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors during the year-long process to draft the county's first Coastal Plan; wrote and helped enact Class K building regulations, alternative wastewater systems approvals; negotiated Clean Slate provisions to allow owner-builders to legalize their homes; led the effort to underground utilities in Hopland and establish bikeways in south Ukiah

United States House of Representatives

While in Congress, I authored the Headwaters Forest Act, a bill to save 40,000 acres of Pacific Lumber property from the chainsaws and get-rich-quick schemes of Charles Hurwitz and Maxxam Corporation. The bill passed the House of Representatives 288-133 but stalled in the Senate largely due to non-action of California’s two senators.

National Democratic Institute

Trained provincial legislators throughout South Africa to take part in the post-apartheid government under the presidency of Nelson Mandela.

Ward Valley

Participated in a 113 day occupation in the Mojave Desert west of Needles to stop the plan to dump radioactive waste just a few miles from the Colorado River; the project was stopped.

Bear Lincoln Defense Committee

Helped to create a community movement in defense of Bear Lincoln, a Yuki man accused of murdering a Mendocino County deputy; the jury found Lincoln not guilty and freed him from Mendocino County jail.


Forced the retail behemoth to change their policies regarding tabling and other political activity on store property; we were able to convince a state appeals court to overturn local judge Richard Henderson leading to Wal-Mart settling with the eight defendants and changing their statewide policies.

Measure G

Spokesperson for successful campaign to allow county residents to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for personal use.

Round Valley Historical Marker

Led a successful effort to replace State of California Historical Marker #674 with
language recognizing the 10,000 year history of the Yuki people in Round Valley and the predations they suffered during the Mendocino County Wars of the 1870s and subsequent internment.

California Heritage Tree Preservation Act

Co-author of a bill to protect all trees in California older than the state itself (1850). This bill has passed the State Senate twice but has stalled in the Assembly through the efforts of the moderate Democratic Party faction (“mod Dems”).

Measure H

Served on the steering committee and radio communications coordinator for the successful campaign to pass the first ordinance in the country banning the production of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

Measure B

Served on the steering committee for the unsuccessful No on Measure B campaign. The measure passed by a vote of 52-48, though it failed 56-44 in the fifth district.


Sonoma County Democrat of the Year (1994)

Sierra Club California Legislator of the Year (1994)

Dan with grand-daughters Ruby Campbell (left) and Natalie Hamburg (right) and cat Spindrift

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