Senator Dick Ackerman represented the 33rd Senate District in Orange County from 2000-2008. His district included the communities of Brea, Coto de Caza, Foothill Ranch, Fullerton, La Habra, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, Silverado, Trabuco Canyon, Villa Park and Yorba Linda. The district also includes parts of Anaheim, Buena Park, Irvine, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana and Tustin. Ackerman was elected to the Senate by an overwhelming majority in 2000 after serving three terms in the Assembly.
Dick Ackerman is a long time Southern California resident. He was born in Long Beach, California and is a graduate of Bellflower High School. In 1964, Ackerman earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley, and three years later he earned his Juris Doctor Degree from the Hastings School of Law.
As a member of the State Assembly, Ackerman’s legislative priorities included improving California’s schools by increasing accountability and strengthening local control of important decisions. He also focused on making California more friendly to business and cutting government waste. For two years, Ackerman served as the Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and was a member of Appropriations Committee and the Legislative Ethics Committee. Ackerman was a member of the Assembly Local Government and Southern California Water Caucuses, and served on the Select Committee on California Wine and the Speaker’s Commission on State and Local Government Finance. During his tenure in the Assembly, Ackerman served on numerous other committees, including Rules, Local Government, Higher Education, Natural Resources, and the Assembly Sub-Committee on Sexual Harassment (Co-Chair). Additionally, Ackerman served on the Republican Caucus Leadership Team where he held the positions of Assistant Republican Leader and Whip. He is also a former member of the California Law Revision Commission.
As a local elected official, Dick Ackerman has been involved in his community for many years. He was a member of the Fullerton City Council for twelve years, twice serving as mayor. Ackerman was also a member of Fullerton’s Economic Development Team, Chairman of the Orange County Waste Management Commission, and Vice Chairman of the Southern California Hazardous Waste Management Authority.
Dick Ackerman has also been an active member of the business and education communities, where he has served as a member of the President’s Advisory Board to California State University, Fullerton. Ackerman is a past Chamber of Commerce President and a member of several community service organizations such as the Fullerton Rotary Club and the Elks Lodge.
The community has recognized Ackerman’s public service contributions by giving him several awards. These prestigious acknowledgments include: 2002 Distinguished Service Award from the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County, 1996 Orange County League of Cities Legislator of the Year, 1997 Republican Party of Orange County Legislator of the Year, 1996 Elected Official of the Year by the Orange County Committee for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Fullerton Chamber of Commerce 1996 Educator of the Year and the Regional Centers of Orange County Spotlight Award for Outstanding Service to people with developmental disabilities.
Dick and his wife Linda have lived in Orange County for thirty years. They have three children, Lauren, Marc, and Brett. Lauren is a speech therapist and lives with her husband, John Ramirez, and their daughters, Caitlin and Elizabeth, in Orange County and Marc and Brett both work and live in Southern California.