Mary Hayashi, Project Director
Award-winning author Mary Hayashi is one of the nation’s most accomplished advocates for expanding the delivery and coverage of health care. As a national healthcare leader, public affairs consultant, and former member of the California State Assembly, Mary has tirelessly championed reform efforts to expand access to healthcare; has helped deliver over $2 billion for public schools; and has established unprecedented partnerships in support of social causes that previously had no financial or public backing.
Mary Hayashi serves as a public affairs consultant for professional associations, philanthropic organizations, and corporations. In this capacity, Mary has successfully guided business and policy leaders through complex public policy issues. Most recently, she served as the lead strategist for the California Pharmacists Association’s successful passage of SB493, the landmark legislation that expands the scope of practice for pharmacists. Because of that expansion, patients now enjoy greater access to healthcare, and the quality and efficiency of the healthcare delivery system has improved. As the lead consultant, Mary was responsible for developing a comprehensive political and legislative strategy, offering policy expertise, and building coalitions with diverse stakeholders. Mary was honored for her work in leading the successful enactment of SB493 with the California Pharmacists Association Friend of Pharmacy award and the California Pharmacists Association President’s Award.
Mary Hayashi also serves as a consultant and philanthropic advisor to foundations and corporations. In this role, she helps foundations and corporations to achieve their charitable vision by evaluating giving strategies, determining specific needs, and creating a strategic contribution plan. As a fund advisor for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Mary works on a charitable fund dedicated to preventing multiple concussions in youth athletics. Previously, Mary Hayashi served as a consultant for the Foundation Consortium for California’s Children and Youth on their child welfare services redesign project. The Foundation Consortium is an alliance of corporate, private, community and family foundations that share a common vision for California’s children, families, and communities.
Mary Hayshi has been sought out to advise the nation’s top policy leaders, including the former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. Mary Hayashi advised Satcher on his national campaign to eliminate health disparities. Mary also served as the Alameda County Coordinator in the winning campaign to pass Proposition 63, which provides increased funding for prevention and treatment services in county and statewide mental health programs. Additionally, Mary served from 2005-2012 as a commissioner on the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which was created to monitor the implementation of Prop 63.
First elected in November 2006, Mary Hayashi served three terms in the California State Legislature representing the 18th Assembly District. During her tenure, Mary was a member of the leadership team for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, serving as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection. The committee has jurisdiction over legislation that pertains to business, professional and trade practices, licensing, and regulation. The committee’s primary jurisdictions include Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Real Estate, Department of General Services, state procurement, state and local property acquisition law, Public Private Partnership, creation and elimination of regulatory agencies, boards and commissions, and product labeling. Mary also sat on the Assembly Transportation Committee, Assembly Health Committee, and the Assembly Insurance Committee.
While serving in the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi authored a number of healthcare-related bills, such as AB 25, a concussion safety bill that placed California alongside Washington as one of the states with the toughest return-to-play laws for student athletes, and AB 1451, which adds concussion training to the first-aid certification required of every high school coach.
Other bills authored by Mary Hayashi and enacted into law are AB 509, which served as the catalyst for establishing California’s first Office of Suicide Prevention; AB 73, which created funding for domestic violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution efforts for the Family Justice Center of Alameda County; and AB 1386, local transportation improvements funding legislation, which settled a 40-year long dispute over the abandoned Foothill Freeway in Hayward. Sponsored by the California Department of Transportation and City of Hayward, AB 1386 generated over $500 million from land sales, money that was used to fund transportation improvements and create hundreds of construction jobs benefitting the local economy.
Prior to serving in the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi was the California Director of the American Public Health Association and Executive Director of the Capital Unity Council. Capital Unity Council is a statewide organization dedicated to building the Unity Center, an interactive learning museum with the goal of increasing public understanding of California’s diversity through historical exhibits and ongoing social science research. Mary’s work secured the Unity Center’s site acquisition and launched a two-year capital campaign.
In addition to her public policy accomplishments, Mary Hayashi founded several non-profit organizations including the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative, a special project fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the National Asian Women’s Health Organization, which served as a national advocate for Asian American health issues.
Mary Hayashi served as a member of the California Board of Registered Nursing, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and as Chair of the Planned Parenthood Golden Gate Political Action Committee. She has been a board member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Research!America, which successfully doubled the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health.
Mary Hayashi’s remarkable journey from her childhood in Korea to prominence as a health care leader is documented in her book, Far From Home: Shattering the Myth of the Model Minority, for which she received the Mothers and Shakers Award from Redbook Magazine. She has also been honored by diverse organizations for her work on behalf of minority health and women, from Ladies’ Home Journal, to Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center. Mary Hayashi was named Legislator of the Year by both the American Red Cross and the California Medical Association. She has also received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club, and the Above and Beyond Award from the California Dental Association.
Mary Hayashi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco, and her Master in Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University.