Meet Ken

DSC_2377-2rt2Ken Carlson was elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on November 8, 2022 and took the Oath of Office on January 2, 2023. His election was historic as he is the first LGBTQIA+ member of the Board.

 Ken has a long history of public service with deep roots in Contra Costa County. He attended schools in both Pleasant Hill and Concord. Ken first stepped into the County Supervisor’s office when his grandfather, James Moriarty, was County Supervisor. Ken recalls fond memories of attending events with his grandfather. 

Ken graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Communications. He then traveled to Seoul, Korea for eighteen months of missionary work, where he learned Korean and taught English.

In December 1988, he graduated from the Los Medanos College Law Enforcement Academy and began his career as a Concord Police Officer where he served for 29 years, retiring in 2017. Some of his duties over the years included working as a patrol officer, a crisis negotiator, a traffic investigator, and in various investigative positions.

Before joining the Board of Supervisors, Ken served on the Pleasant Hill City Council from December 2012 to December 2022 and as Mayor in 2015 and 2019. During his tenure on the City Council, Pleasant Hill recovered from the Great Recession and built a solid budget based on fiscal stability. The Council with the passing of Measure K, funded, planned, and constructed the new state-of-the-art Pleasant Hill Library. 

As the first LGBTQIA+ Councilmember and Mayor, Ken established June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month in Pleasant Hill. He also authored the Inclusive City Resolution, which states that Pleasant Hill is a welcoming community for all residents and promotes the protection of human rights, social justice, equality, diversity, and social well-being.

Over the last 10 years, Ken has served on many boards of regional bodies and non-profits, as follows:  

  • East Bay Division of the League of California Cities   – Board Member – 2015 to 2022, served as President of the Division in 2017
  • Family Justice Center – a founding Board Member of the Family Justice Center – 2015 to 2022
  • John Muir Community Health Fund – Board Member 2013 to 2021, Chair from 2018 to 2021
  • League of California Cities, State Board of Directors representing the East Bay Division – 2019 to 2022
  • Rainbow Community Center – Board Member – 2013-2019, served as President from 2015 to 2019

Ken calls Pleasant Hill home along with his husband, Jeremy, of 16 years, and their two dogs.