Shirlee Zane

shirlee ZANE


UPDATED BIO: Not just the Little Red Haired Girl anymore…

Supervisor Shirlee Zane represents Sonoma County’s Third District. The District includes most of central Santa Rosa, the City of Rohnert Park east of Highway 101, and Sonoma State University. She was first elected in 2008. Prior to taking office, Zane served as the CEO of Sonoma County’s Council on Aging , a private nonprofit corporation that provides services for seniors countywide.

Zane’s highest priorities for 2018 are building new housing and rebuilding housing lost in the October 2017 wildfires, addressing homelessness, protecting environmental and human health, and public safety.

Working with law enforcement, Health Services and Mental Health advocates, the Supervisor launched a Behavioral Health Mobile Support Team to assist law enforcement on 911 mental health and substance abuse calls. She has worked closely with the District Attorney and community providers to open and fund the first Family Justice Center to provide wraparound services to victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and elder abuse.

Recognized nationally for her leadership on health and human service issues, Zane serves on the  on the Veterans and Military Services Committee and is Vice Chair of the Aging Subcommittee on the Human Services and Education Steering Committee for the National Association of Counties (NACo) . She also won an appointment to NACo’s Healthy Counties Initiative Advisory Board where her work focuses on implementation of health care reform, long-term care goals, mental health issues, and a policy platform for counties across the US.

As a proponent of clean air and lowering transportation emissions, Zane serves as a Director for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District , Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transport (SMART) and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority/Regional Climate Protection Authority (SCTA/RCPA) .

Zane provides direction for the County in addressing solid waste issues. She Chaired the Solid Waste Advisory Group and has served as a Director for the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency .

Zane’s efforts to maintain a strong regional economy have been recognized with a Building Industry Association of the Bay Area Award. She has led progress at Permit Sonoma, where 72% of permits are now issued the same day. And, in conjunction with the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Chairwoman Zane declared 2017 the “Year of the Senior”  to support senior entrepreneurism, continue to enhance Sonoma County’s image as a tourist destination for seniors, encourage age-friendly business practices, and raise awareness of the challenges and positive outcomes of an aging population.

Clean water and environmental protection are prime concerns for Zane. She works and lobbies with the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) to secure federal funding for County and regional water projects. Zane has been influential in building support for the San Francisco Bay Area Advanced Quantitative Precipitation Information (AQPI) project that will help water managers better manage precious water resources within our reservoirs. With her colleagues she established three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) and serves on the Santa Rosa Plain GSA.  Zane was also instrumental in the development of a Groundwater Management Plan for the Santa Rosa Plain.

Zane understands that access to publicly owned landscapes fosters our environmental ethic. As an advocate for full access to the County’s open space lands purchased for recreation and sustainable agriculture, Supervisor Zane accelerated the opening of Taylor Mountain Regional Park and is propelling the opening of more county owned land purchased for parks and agriculture education programs.

In August 2017 Zane was invited to speak before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water and Power to examine increasing water security and drought preparedness through infrastructure, management and innovation. In May 2011 the Supervisor was honored to attend a special White House Summit to discuss county issues with senior cabinet members, as well as with Vice President Biden and President Obama.

Supervisor Zane has over 25 years of experience working in health and human services as a family therapist, minister, hospital chaplain, special education professional, and inner city social worker. She holds a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in theology from Chicago Trinity Divinity School and an M.A. in family counseling from Sonoma State University. Ms. Zane is a fluent Spanish speaker and has worked abroad in Caracas, Venezuela. She has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Elderly and Disabled Advisory Committee. She is a recipient of the 2014 National Alliance on Mental Illness—California Recovery Practitioner Award, Sonoma County Conservation Action Environmental Service Award, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County Community Transformation Award, the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless Marijke Byck Spirit of Community Award, and the National Union of Healthcare Workers 2014 Patient Recovery Award. Previously the Supervisor was awarded the Reverend Coffee Human Rights Award and the Community Service Award in Education from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, among others.