When Marty Block won election to the state Senate in 2012, his fellow lawmakers immediately recognized him as one of the most respected voices on higher education in the Legislature. The senator from San Diego spent most of his professional career in the halls of academia — as a professor, a dean and a legal advisor at San Diego State University. During an academic career spanning 26 years, Block received “outstanding” faculty awards five times.
After two distinguished terms representing the 78th Assembly District and chairing the Assembly Higher Education Committee, Block was elected in the 39th Senate District to represent nearly one million constituents in San Diego, La Jolla, Coronado, Del Mar, and Solana Beach. In the Senate Block chaired the Banking Committee and the Senate Education Budget Subcommittee. He also chaired the Legislative Jewish Caucus.
A Chicago-area native, Block received his BA degree in political science and education at Indiana University and then a law degree from DePaul University. After directing the Office of Student Legal Services at Western Illinois University for two years, he moved west to San Diego State University, where he founded the National Higher Education Law and Policy Institute. Upon his retirement, Block was presented with the university’s Distinguished Service Award.
Before winning a seat in the Assembly in 2008, Block served eight years as a trustee on the San Diego County Board of Education and eight years as president of the San Diego County Community College District board. He also served as statewide president of the California County Boards of Education and as a San Diego Superior Court Judge pro Tem.
Senator Block’s Legislator of the Year and civic awards reflect his legislative emphases. These include recognition from the California School Boards Association, the California Teachers Association, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Association, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, the California Federation of Teachers, the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability, the California American Legion, Crime Victims United of California, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the Junior Leagues of California, the California March of Dimes, Democrats for Israel, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California, the California Judges Council, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and numerous other organizations.
Block was appointed to a four year term as Chair of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board by Governor Jerry Brown on December 5th, 2016. He has lived in the San Diego region for more than 36 years and currently resides in La Jolla.