Candidates for State Controller-John A. Perez and Betty Yee

Get to know the candidates for State Controller:


John A. Perez

John A. Pérez has dedicated his career to improving the lives of Californians and advancing the prosperity of our state.  

Growing up in the working class communities of East Los Angeles, John’s parents taught him the value of hard work and community service. He served in the private sector labor movement prior to joining the state legislature, and has also served on numerous boards and commissions focused on public policy at the city, state and national level.

John was first elected to the State Assembly in 2008, at the height of the nation’s economic recession and a time of great financial peril for California. In 2010, he became the nation’s first openly gay Speaker when he was selected to lead the California Assembly.

Since that time, John’s leadership of the State Assembly has helped California make significant strides in strengthening opportunity for the middle class and restoring fiscal responsibility, including:

Passing On Time and Balanced State Budgets

John has led the State Assembly in passing balanced and on-time budgets three years in a row – a first in 30 years. The budgets have eliminated the state’s structural deficit, balanced its books and improved California’s credit rating – as the nation’s credit rating declined. As a result, California has spent $480 million less in debt financing this year alone. The Assembly also laid the groundwork for a November 2014 ballot initiative to create a Rainy Day Fund that will protect the state budget during boom and bust cycles.

Helping Businesses, Creating Jobs

John introduced and led the passage of legislation creating GoBiz, to improve the state’s efforts to attract new businesses and investments in California.


Betty Yee

A native of San Francisco and a proud product of its K-12 public schools, Betty Yee was born to immigrant parents who established a laundry and dry cleaning business in the Parkside District of San Francisco and operated it for 30 years.  The second oldest of six children, Betty grew up speaking no English at home.  As with her siblings, when not in school, she worked the counter of her parents’ business, interacting with customers and often translating for her parents with vendors as well as assisting in financial transactions for them.

Ms. Yee’s work ethic was modeled after that of her parents, who never closed the business other than on Sundays and holidays and never took vacations.  She especially is proud of the reputation her father earned for the quality of his work in hand-finishing men’s shirts and that of her mother for her excellent skills as a seamstress.  The hard work and sacrifice of her parents inspired Ms. Yee and her siblings to do well in school.  All six children are college graduates:  five from the University of California, Berkeley, and one from San Francisco State University; three have advanced degrees.

About the California State Board of Equalization: Currently, Ms. Yee serves as one of five members on the California State Board of Equalization, the nation’s only elected tax commission.  She represents close to 9 million Californians in the First Equalization District, comprised of 21 counties primarily along the northern and central California coast and including the entire San Francisco Bay Area — the home to many of the state’s most prominent industries, such as biotechnology, health care, high tech, financial services, wine, and tourism.  Ms. Yee was elected to this office first in November 2006, receiving over 1.5 million votes, or 65 percent of the votes cast.  She was re-elected in 2010, earning over 1.6 million votes, or 63 percent of the votes cast.