Former California state Assemblymember Mary Hayashi is an award-winning author, non-profit director, accomplished public health advocate. She is currently the project director of the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative, a project of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.  The Women’s Sports Safety Initiative is a nationwide effort dedicated to advancing the lives of women and girls by raising awareness of sports-related injuries and the unique factors affecting women’s susceptibility to and recovery from injury.

Mary Hayashi also serves as a public affairs strategist and community relations consultant for healthcare associations, philanthropic organizations and corporations. 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. These expanded roles will result in greater patient access to healthcare and will improve the quality and efficiency of the healthcare delivery system.

In addition to her public policy accomplishments, Hayashi is the author of Far From Home: Shattering the Myth of the Model Minority, which recounts her remarkable journey from her childhood in Korea to prominence as a healthcare leader. She has been honored by diverse organizations for her work on behalf of women’s health, from Redbook Magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal, to Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center.

During her time in the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi authored a number of healthcare-related bills, including AB 25, a concussion safety bill that placed California alongside Washington as the states with the toughest return-to-play laws for student athletes. Additionally, she helped to pass AB 1451, which adds concussion training to the first-aid certification required of every high school coach. Mary also authored AB509, which served as the catalyst for establishing California’s first Office of Suicide Prevention, and AB73, which created funding for domestic violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution efforts for the Family Justice Center of Alameda County. 

Prior to serving in the California State Legislature, Hayashi was the California director of the American Public Health Association and a consultant for the Foundation Consortium for California’s Children and Youth on their child welfare services redesign project. She has advised the nation’s top policy leaders and was named Legislator of the Year by the American Red Cross and the California Medical Association.  She also received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club and the California Dental Association.