Party affiliation: Democrat
Editor San Diego Gayzette, 1984—1986. Director San Diego Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Assistance Fund, 1987—1988. Executive director Hillcrest Business Association, 1988—1989.
Aide San Diego City Council, 1989—1992, councilwoman, 1993—2000. Community development specialist San Diego, 1992—1993. Member city manager's office Economic Development, 1993.
Candidate California District 49 United States Congress, 1998. Member District 76 California State Assembly, 2000—2004. Member District 39 California State Senate, since 2005, chair appropriations committee, member banking, finance and insurance committee, energy, utilities and communications committee, local government committee, natural resources and water committee, transportation and housing committee.
Member arts, entertainment, sports, tourism and Internet media committee. Member housing and community development committee. Member public employees, retirement and social security committee.
Member transportation committee. Member water, parks, and wildlife committee. Member VA committee; chair select committee on park and river restoration, since 2001.
Chair public safety and neighborhood services committee, 1995—1996. Legislation aide State of California, 1992. Council representative City of San Diego, 1989—1992.
Campaign coordinator San Diegans for Neil Good, 1987, San Diego Says No on 64, 1986.
Member of National Organization of Women, California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research (board directors), California Women in Government, National Women's Political Caucus, San Diego Association Government, San Diego Small Business Advisory Board, San Diego Center Democratic Committee (member San Diego City Council 1993—2000, chair subcommittee on economic prosperity 1998), California Women in Education, Uptown Democratic Club, Sierra Club, San Diego Democratic Club.