Elected in November 2010, taxpayer advocate George Runner represents the 2nd District of the Board of Equalization.
Prior to his election to the Board, Runner served twelve years in the State Legislature. As a thoughtful conservative, his legislative priorities included improving the economy, business growth, education excellence, and family preservation for all Californians. As a member of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, Runner consistently led the fight against tax increases and supported tax relief for families and businesses.
Mr. Runner and his wife, former Assembly Member Sharon Runner, are the authors of Jessica’s Law, which was passed by more than 70 percent of California voters in November 2006. It created some of the toughest and most comprehensive sex offender management and control laws in the nation.
He also authored the well-known California Amber Alert, which has resulted in more than 200 successful reunions of children with their parents, as well as California’s Blue Alert, which uses Amber Alert technology when a peace officer has been killed, seriously wounded or assaulted with a deadly weaponand the suspect has fled the scene.
In recognition of his efforts, Runner was named Legislator of the Year by a number of respected organizations, including the California State Sheriffs’ Association, Crime Victims United, California Sexual Assault Investigators Association, Coalition of Chief Probations Officers, California Coalition of Directors of Environmental Health, California Community College Trustees, and the California Building Industry Association.
He also received the Pursuit of Justice Award from the Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys. Runner was consistently named one of Sacramento's most conservative legislators by the Capitol Weekly newspaper and received perfect legislative scores from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association.
Prior to his election to the State Senate in 2004, Runner served in the State Assembly for three terms, from 1996 to 2002. During this time of service, Runner served as Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. In this role he fought against tax increases and for tax relief on behalf of all Californians.
Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Runner served on the Lancaster City Council, including two years as mayor. In 1976 the Runners founded Desert Christian Schools, which is now one of the largest private schools in the State of California.
George and Sharon Runner are the first husband and wife in California history to have served concurrently in the Legislature. They are proud parents of their son, Micah, daughter-in-law, Sandy, daughter Rebekah, and three grandchildren.
America's Highest-Ranking Korean American Elected Official
Elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006, Michelle Steel serves as the country's highest ranking Korean-American officeholder and California 's highest ranking Republican woman. A successful businesswoman and longtime taxpayer advocate, Michelle Steel represents more than eight million people in the Third District, which includes the c ounties of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.
On the Board of Equalization, Michelle Steel's first priority is protecting taxpayers. Michelle's commitment to taxpayers began at an early age when she watched her mother fight an unwarranted Board of Equalization tax bill. As an immigrant small business owner, Michelle's mother lacked the resources to successfully fight a massive state agency and reluctantly acceded to the Board's demands.
As one of California 's fiscal officers, Michelle Steel promises to protect taxpayers from the overbearing government that her family encountered. A signatory of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Michelle Steel will oppose all new taxes and tax increases. When adjudicating tax appeals, she will always presume that a taxpayer is innocent until proven guilty.
Before taking office, Michelle Steel served as Deputy Board of Equalization Member to Claude Parrish. Her public policy experience also includes service as a Member of the California Orange County Deputy District Office: KA Community Commission and Member of the Tax Advisory Committee for the State Board of Equalization.
Over the past decade, Michelle Steel has served on the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, California World Trade Commission, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, and Los Angeles Airport and Fire Commissions.
Recognizing her extensive public policy experience, the President appointed Michelle Steel to the White House Conference on Aging, her second presidential appointment. Michelle also serves as a Board Member for the Korean American Republican Association and as an Honorary Chair of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2006 Gubernatorial Campaign.
Michelle Steel has spent her life actively involved in her community, beginning as a Radio Seoul Commentator- a position she continues to hold. She has been an instrumental volunteer for several youth organizations, including Options House, a local emergency shelter helping runaway children, and the Coalition of Brothers and Sisters Unlimited, an African-American after-school program.
Educated in Korea , Japan , and the United States , Michelle holds a degree in Business from Pepperdine University and is fluent in Korean and Japanese.
Michelle and her husband, Shawn, have been married for twenty-five years. They live in Palos Verdes, where they are raising their two children ? Cheyenne , 19, and Siobhan, 16.