Meet Dave Jones

Dave Jones has devoted his career to helping people, as a Legal Aid attorney, Sacramento City Councilmember, State Assemblymember, and Insurance Commissioner.

The voters of California elected Dave twice to the position of California’s Insurance Commissioner, where he worked on behalf of 38 million Californians.  Jones led the California Department of Insurance and regulated the largest insurance market in the United States where insurers collect $310 billion a year in premiums in California.  Jones secured crucial victories for consumers, including:

In 2017, the American Medical Association awarded Jones the prestigious Award for Outstanding Government Service for his work advancing public health including implementing the Affordable Care Act, blocking the Anthem Cigna and Aetna Humana mergers, improving provider network adequacy, and moving closer to achieving mental health parity.  The Daily Journal, the state’s largest legal newspaper named him one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers. The Greenlining Institute gave Jones their “2012 Big Heart Award” for his work promoting insurance industry diversity. Jones received the 2012 Distinguished Advocate Award from Autism Speaks. The American Psychiatric Association awarded Jones its prestigious Jacob K. Javits Public Service Award in 2015 for his work on mental health parity.

Jones represented Sacramento in the California State Assembly from 2004 through 2010, where he chaired the Assembly Health Committee, the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Jones also served on the Agriculture and Utilities and Commerce committees and the following select Committees: Foster Care, Youth Violence Prevention, Growth Management, and Rail Transportation.  

Named “Consumer Champion” by the California Consumer Federation, Jones was also awarded the “Leadership Award” by the Western Center on Law and Poverty. The national Floodplain Management Association honored Jones with their award for Meritorious Achievement for his work to prevent catastrophic flooding in California.  Planned Parenthood, Environment California, California National Organization for Women, the Greater Sacramento Urban League, Preschool California and CalPIRG have all honored his work. Capitol Weekly named Jones California’s “most effective legislator” other than the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore. Dave received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood for defending women’s access to reproductive healthcare.  As Insurance Commissioner, he helped to defend the contraception coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act from lawsuits and he also convinced the Obama Administration not to overturn California’s requirement for insurance policies to cover abortion services.

As a legislator, Jones had more than seventy bills signed into law, including:

His legislation demonstrated his commitment to children and families, addressing homelessness, affordable housing, education (with special emphasis on early childhood education), consumer and environmental protection, health care, privacy rights, civil rights, equal access to the courts, economic development, and privacy protection. 

His legislation has added important new protections to  Californians financial, personal and medical privacy.  His environmental legislation has helped to improve air quality, promote communities where people can walk, bike or take public transit, improve water quality, and protect endangered species like the California sea otter.  

Assemblymember Jones successfully obtained a $500 million emergency appropriation for levee improvements that allowed construction to begin to repair Sacramento levees.  At the same time, Jones led the effort to put the $4.09 billion Disaster Preparedness and Flood Protection bond on the ballot.  Jones also improved equal access to the courts by increasing resources to meet the legal needs of low income, disabled and senior Californians. 

Dave received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood for defending women’s access to reproductive healthcare.  As Insurance Commissioner, he helped to defend the contraception coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act from lawsuits and he also convince the Obama Administration not to overturn  California’s requirement for insurance policies to cover abortion services.

In response to IRS calculations that Sacramento residents fail to claim over $39 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, Jones established a coalition to promote a free tax assistance program for families earning less than $37,000 per year.  As a result, thousands of people participated bringing millions of dollars into the Sacramento economy.  Additionally, Jones heads a coalition promoting Cal Grants to deserving college-bound students.  As a result, approximately 1800 deserving students were able to obtain funding to allow them to attend college.

Jones began his career as a legal aid attorney, providing free legal assistance to the poor with Legal Services of Northern California from 1988 to 1995.  Jones represented low income families and individuals of color in successful class action lawsuits to obtain affordable housing, stop unlawful evictions and displacement by government “urban renewal” projects, and hold slumlords accountable, and otherwise defend their legal rights. 

In 1995, Jones was one of only 13 Americans awarded the prestigious White House Fellowship. He served for three years (1995-1998) as Special Assistant and Counsel to United States Attorney General Janet Reno. 

Jones served on the Sacramento City Council from 1999 to 2004.  While on the City Council he authored and obtained passage of the pathbreaking Mixed Income Inclusionary Affordable Housing Ordinance,  which required 15% of all new housing developments to be affordable to very low and low income households.   He also authored the Living Wage Ordinance, Domestic Partners Ordinance and the Community and Schools Partnership program which brought city funding into local schools through joint use projects serving the community and school children.   Jones also voluntarily established in his council district the first homeless shelter outside the downtown —the first councilmember to do so. He brought substantial additional funding for improvements into historically African-American and Latino and Asian and Pacific Islander neighborhoods and business corridors, including new parks, recreation centers, affordable housing,  curbs, gutters, sidewalks and streetlights in areas neglected historically by the city. 

Since leaving office as Insurance Commissioner in January 2019, Dave Jones currently works as a Senior Director for The Nature Conservancy and is the Director of the Climate Risk Initiative at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE).  Jones is a recognized expert on climate change, climate risk,  and financial regulation, has testified before Congress, and has contributed to numerous reports and recommendations urging financial regulators to address the systemic risk posed by climate change to the financial system and financial institutions. 

Dave Jones worked his way through college and graduate schools. He graduated with honors from DePauw University, Harvard Law School, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (MPP). He and his wife, Kim Flores, have a daughter and son, Isabelle and William.