Emeryville California
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Ruth Atkin
Elected: 1999, re-elected 2003, re-elected 2007

Ruth Atkin joined the Emeryville City Council in November 1999 and has served as Mayor in 2002 and 2006. Ruth has public service experience from the local to the federal level. She began her public service in 1988 when she first worked for Aging and Adult Services of Contra Costa County.  She then worked as a federal civil servant in the US Department of Veterans Affairs as a medical social worker and homeless veterans outreach coordinator from 1992-2001.  In 2001 she returned to Aging and Adult Services in Contra Costa County where she has served as a program analyst, contracts monitor and interim division manager for the Area Agency on Aging and other programs that support seniors living independently in the community.

Throughout her 19 years as an Emeryville resident Ruth has been completely devoted to building community.  In her first campaign she promoted the idea of autonomous neighborhood councils.  Since that time a number of residential neighborhood groups and email lists have formed autonomously!  Now she is working on interweaving the public institutions serving Emeryville through the model of the Emeryville Centers of Community Life.  Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the Emeryville Celebration of the Arts and the Emery Education Fund and has served on the boards of other East Bay nonprofit community organizations.

Ruth’s current Emeryville committee work includes the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory committee, Housing committee, AC Transit-City liaison committee, Brownfields Task Force, Utility committee, Climate Change Task Force, and the City-Schools committee.  She also serves the community on the boards of regional agencies which include the Housing Authority of the County of Alameda, the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, and the Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTA).  She has been an alternate to the Association of Bay Area Governments executive committee and the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA).

Ruth Atkin became happily married to Janet Tobacman in September 2008 after being together for over ten years.  Their home is often the site of various community gatherings.


City of Emeryville, 1333 Park Avenue  Emeryville, California 94608 • Ph: (510) 596-4300 • Fx: (510) 658-8095