Senator Dick Ackerman is a longtime Southern California resident. Born in Long Beach, he is a graduate of Bellflower High School. In 1964, Ackerman earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley, and three years later he earned his Juris Doctor Degree from Hastings School of Law. He has practiced law for over three decades.
Ackerman was a member of the Fullerton City Council for twelve years, twice serving as the city's mayor. From there he went on to the California State Assembly where he focused on cutting government waste and making California more business-friendly. While in the Assembly, Ackerman served on numerous committees, including the Assembly Sub-Committee on Sexual Harassament, the Legislative Ethics Committee, and as vice-chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Ackerman was elected to the California State Senate in 2000, and served until 2008. While in the Senate, he served as vice-chairman of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, and also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Senate Select Committee on Anti-Terrorism Policy, among others. Ackerman authored several bills, including legislation designed to combat identity theft, legislation designed to make California a better place to do business, and legislation designed to help put criminals behind bars. He served as the Minority Leader of the Senate from 2004 to 2008.
Ackerman has always been an active member of the business and education communities. He is a past Chamber of Commerce president, has served on the President's Advisory Board to California State University, Fullerton, and has been a member of several community service organizations such as the Fullerton Rotary Club and the Elks Lodge.
His community has recognized his public service by giving him several awards. The prestigious awards include: 1996 Orange County League of Cities Legislator of the Year; 1997 Republican Party of Orange County Legislator of the Year; 1996 Elected Official of the Year by the Orange County Committee for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities; Fullerton Chamber of Commerce 1996 Educator of the Year; and the Regional Centers of Orange County Spotlight Award for Outstanding Service to people with developmental disabilities.
Dick has lived in California all of his life. He and his wife Linda have three children, Lauren, Marc, and Brett. Lauren is a speech therapist and lives with her husband, John Ramirez, and their daughters, Caitlin and Elizabeth, in Orange County; Marc and Brett both live and work in Southern California.