The Dianne McKenna papers document a portion of her political career as Mayor and City Council Member of Sunnyvale from 1977-1984,
and her work on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
(SCCBS), serving from 1985-1996. The collection spans 1980-1996, the bulk of which documents her contributions to the SCCBS
from 1985-1996, and particularly
herwork in transportation and child advocacy.
Dianne McKenna, a native of Pennsylvania, moved to the
Silicon Valley in the 1960's. In 1977, she received her Master's Degree in
Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State University. In that same year,
McKenna was elected to the Sunnyvale City Council, where she served until 1984,
with exception of the terms 1980-1981 and 1982-1983, when she was elected as
the Mayor of Sunnyvale. In 1985, McKenna became the fifth woman elected to the
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, a position that she held until 1996.
She led the successful merger of the Congestion Management Agency and the
Transit District Board, and served as a guide for regional projects for the
Metropolitan Transportation Commission. McKenna was a founding member of Kids
in Common, a collaborative children's advocacy program, a member of the Board
of Trustees for the Children's Shelter, and chair of the Children and Youth
Services Joint Conference Committee. She initiated recycling efforts as the
Chair of the Solid Waste Commission of Santa Clara County, and in 1994, led the
General Plan Review Advisory Committee to complete its work of reviewing and
updating land use plans and policies. As of 2006, she serves on the Board of
Directors for Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), a San Francisco Bay Area
environmental preservation organization.
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