The Background of John A. Nejedly
John A. Nejedly was elected to represent the 7th Senatorial District in a Special Election on March 25, 1969. He was then serving as the District Attorney and County Counsel of Contra Costa County, in his third term.
The Senator is a native of Oakland, where he attended public schools. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1935, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and received his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1941 at the University’s School of Law, Boalt Hall. Nejedly is the father of three children, Mary, John T., and James.
In 1942, John Nejedly served in the United States Air Force as a Japanese language officer, Air Technical Intelligence, during World War II. Honorably discharged in 1946, he became the Deputy District Attorney of Contra Costa County and City Attorney of Walnut Creek, the post he held until 1959 when he was elected District Attorney.
The incredible development of Contra Costa County after WWII required a long-term protocol for growth of Walnut Creek and the central area.
The program adopted: The “Little Master Plan” presented an opportunity for Nejedly as City Attorney to join the City Council, Staff, and Community leaders in securing elimination of downtown traffic congestion by the Freeway, federal funding for culverting Walnut Creek, which eliminated periodic flooding, and provided the open surface area for the central commercial district.
In addition, the successful annexation to the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which also empowered the City Council to include later annexed areas into the EBMUD, an attraction which prompted area consolidation.
The need for funds to finance development of the plan promoted a search for financing, and legislation authorizing revenue bonds to be amortized by parking meter revenues on not yet constructed city streets was secured.
The San Miguel Hot Mix Plant required removal. Service by the Contra Costa Sanitary District was secured, planning to maintain the present ambiance of South Main Street was enacted, a complicated annexation of Rossmoor and permanence of attractive environmental setting was effected, and the foundations for the successful commercial and attractive community that the Walnut Creek area is today was provided for.
As State Senator, major legislation authored by Nejedly includes the Pesticide Control Act, including the elimination of DDT, the Solid Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act of 1972, the Forest Protective Act of 1973, the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act of 1974, the Wilderness Act of 1974, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, the Urban and Coastal Park Bond Act of 1976, the Litter Control, Recycling and Resources Recovery Act of 1972, the Rare or Endangered Native Plant Act of 1977, the Parklands and Renewable Resources Investment Program Act of 1980, the Hazardous Substances Information and Training Act of 1980, the State Toxic Disaster Contingency Plan Act of 1980, the Sierra Valley and Long Valley Groundwater Basin Act of 1980, the California Parklands Act of 1980, the Solid Waste Management Act of 1980, and numerous bills relating to the state park system, wildlife protection and management, and forestry.
Other Nejedly bills have dealt with law enforcement and administration of justice, local government organization and planning, and public health and consumer protection. For his efforts in conservation of the environment, Nejedly received the American Motors Award in 1966 as one of the “Ten Outstanding Americans in the Field of Conservation.”
Throughout his legislative career, Nejedly has consistently and successfully pursued the goal of providing for the wisest management of the public’s natural resources for the future -- specifically, our Mt. Diablo State Park and its expansion and open-space preservation throughout the State.
Nejedly was the author of the sentencing reform of Criminal Justice sentencing procedures as the author of the Determinate Sentencing Act, which fixed terms for criminal sentences. This was the most significant legislative development in California’s criminal justice system in over 60 years.
The Senator served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildlife and was a member of the Finance and Judiciary Committees. He was also a member of the Joint Committee for the Revision of the Penal Code, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and Vice Chairman of the Joint Advisory Committee on State Prison Facilities and Incarceration Alternatives.
Active in community affairs, John Nejedly was Counsel for and President of the John Muir Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, a Charter member and Counsel for the Alexander Lindsay, Jr. Wildlife Museum, Chairman of the Contra Costa Water District Citizens’ Committee for Approval of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Project, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors Committee on Pre-Trial Release and Criminal Justice, County Water Inventory Committee and County Negotiating Committee for Water. He was also a member of the Council of Community Services, Park and Recreation Council, a member of the County Health Association, and of the Children’s Vision Center of the East Bay.
Nejedly is the Founder and first President of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies and the Contra Costa Youth Council which, since 1955, has provided counseling, educational programs, Easter Seals’ handicapped camping activities, and services for the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron in Scouting and “Read to Live” development.
He is an Eagle Scout and has been a Scoutmaster and New Units Chairman of the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a member of the Bay Area Health Facilities Association, and a member of the faculty of St. Mary’s College in Moraga and the University of California Berkeley, Engineering Extension.
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