John Laird was sworn in as the State Senator for Senate District 17 on December 7, 2020. Laird served as California Secretary for Natural Resources by Governor Jerry Brown from January 5, 2011 until January 7, 2019. Laird also served as a member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board from 2008 to 2009 and taught state environmental policy at University of California Santa Cruz. In 2002, he was elected Assemblymember for the 27th District, which included portions of Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, and reelected in 2004 and 2006. While serving the maximum three terms in the Assembly, Laird authored 82 bills that were signed into law.