Ann Ravel has dedicated her life to public service and to the fight for justice and equality. A distinguished attorney who never backs down, Ann will take on special interests and fight for the residents of State Senate District 15 and for families across the state. A leader shaped during the Civil Rights era, Ann’s commitment to public service and fighting for justice at every turn was cemented at an early age.
Ann was raised in Chile by her Brazilian mother and her American father, and they came to San José when she was eleven years old. While attending Willow Glen High School, Ann worked in the Salinas Valley picking fruit and on an apricot assembly line at a fruit cannery in San José, where she saw firsthand the issues of racial inequality and gender wage disparity.
She graduated from UC Berkeley at the height of its activism, and later, she worked her way through law school at UC Hastings by waiting tables. Ann organized her fellow waitresses to unionize, and everyone involved was fired. She filed a complaint with National Labor Relations Board, and further fueled her commitment to fairness and workers’ rights.
A tireless advocate for women and marginalized communities, Ann was the second chair in the pioneering affirmative action case for women in the workplace (Johnson v. Transportation Agency) – the only U.S. Supreme Court case on this issue.
Ann served as the Santa Clara County Counsel for eleven years. During her time as the county’s top attorney, Ann took on Big Tobacco; protected consumers and children from lead paint companies; challenged Prop 8 in court to defend marriage equality; created the Educational Rights Project to support at-risk foster youth; and created the first-in-the-country program that protected seniors from financial abuse.
As a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, she held oil giant BP’s accountable after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. She stood up to pharmaceutical companies who were breaking the law and taking advantage of the vulnerable.
As Governor Jerry Brown’s appointment to Chair the Fair Political Practices Commission, she led the first-in-the-nation fight against the Koch Brothers network when they used dark money to try to pass Proposition 32, the paycheck deception ballot measure. Her work – and her integrity – earned the attention of President Barack Obama who nominated her to the Federal Election Commission. Ann received unanimous consent of the United States Senate, and continues to advocate for fair elections.
In 2014, she was named a California Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer magazine for her work in Government law, and in 2007, the State Bar of California named her Public Attorney of the Year for her contributions to public service.
And now, Ann is suing Google to change its confidentiality agreements and to eliminate forced arbitration, specifically in regards to sexual misconduct and retaliation against women employees in the company.
Ann and her husband Steve are residents of Los Gatos, and they are proud to have raised their three children in this district. Her experience and accomplishments are deep-rooted in true, honest leadership that our community needs in Sacramento. Ann will fight every single day for a brighter future for all of California’s families.