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Marty Block (D) - District 39

Senator Marty Block

Senator Marty Block was elected in November of 2012 to represent California’s 39th Senate District, including the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar, and Solana Beach.  He chairs the Senate Education Budget Subcommittee, the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions, the Capitol Knesset, and the Legislative Jewish Caucus.

Senator Block was elected to the California State Assembly in 2008 where he represented the 78th Assembly District until his election to the Senate. He served as chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee for three years.

Senator Block previously served for 8 years as a member of the San Diego County Board of Education and then served 8 years as President of the San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees.  During that period he also served as a San Diego Superior Court Judge pro Tem, Statewide President of the California County Boards of Education, President of the San Diego Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and Founding Chair of the San Diego Latino/Jewish Coalition.



In his time in the legislature, Senator Block has helped California progress on a number of key education, public safety, veterans, economic and other policy areas.  Some of his notable legislative work subsequently signed into law include:

SB 850Community College Baccalaureate Degrees:  This game-changing legislation for higher education will allow a number of community college districts across the state to develop 4-year degree programs, increasing access for quality higher education in areas that have a demonstrated workforce need.

AB 1731:  Newborn Heart Screening: Newborns today now receive a pulse oximetry screening as part of the range of tests performed at birth, which helps identify correctable heart issues before they become life threatening.

SB 939:  Human Trafficking Court Consolidation: Allows courts in different parts of the state to consolidate all charges and trials at one location, saving the courts time and budget, and protecting victims from testifying against their traffickers multiple times.   

AB 1904:  Military Spouses Professional Licenses: Improves the opportunity for spouses of military service members relocated to California to quickly apply for temporary professional licenses, continuing their career and income uninterrupted while they apply for a permanent license. 

AB 2402:  CSU Admissions Processes:  Requires the California State University (CSU) to follow specified public notice criteria prior to adopting a change in the admissions criteria that affects students in the CSU campus local service area.

AB 2058:  Unemployment Benefits and Workforce Development:  Established the California Training Benefits Program in order to allow unemployed persons to receive unemployment benefits while enrolled in a training program on a full-time basis.

SB 911:  Training and Whistleblower Protections for Senior Care Facilities:  Increased the training requirements for licensees, administrators, and direct care staff of residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs). Prohibits discrimination or retaliation in any manner against a resident or employee for calling 911.


Since his election to the Legislature, Senator Block has been honored as the Legislator of the Year by the:

  • California Judges Association
  • California School Boards Association
  • California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association
  • California Federation of Teachers
  • Junior Leagues of California
  • California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Association
  • Chief Probation Officers of California
  • American Legion of California
  • Crime Victims United of California
  • Faculty Association of California Community Colleges
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society – Pacific South Coast Chapter
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • San Diego Deputy District Attorney’s Association
  • San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council

He has also received:

  • the March of Dimes Legislative Champion Award,
  • the Courageous Leadership Award from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce,
  • the 2013 Solar Champion Award,
  • the Distinguished Service Award by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges,
  • the Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego President’s Award and
  • the infrequently bestowed Lanterman Award from the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability,
  • the Oral Health Policy Champion Award from the County of San Diego HHSA

Senator Block was also named Commander, Civil Air Patrol Legislative Squadron (U.S. Air Force Auxiliary) and received a medal from Hazel’s Army for his legislative work on senior care facilities.


Senator Block served as a dean, professor, and legal advisor at San Diego State University for 26 years. While at SDSU he also served as the Founding Chair and Director of the National Higher Education Law and Policy Institute. Block received outstanding faculty awards five times and was given the university’s Distinguished Service Award upon his retirement.

Prior to this work at San Diego State University, Block served as the Director of Student Legal Services at Western Illinois University, and prior to that he taught history for five years in Skokie, Illinois.


After attending Syracuse University, Senator Block earned his B.A. in Political Science and Education from Indiana University, and his J.D. from DePaul University in Chicago.  He has lived in the 39th Senate District for more than 30 years.