Senate Leader Atkins Announces Appointment of Cara Dessert to Healthy California for All Commission

February 25, 2021

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Rules Committee appointed Cara N. Dessert to the Healthy California for All Commission during its hearing today. As Chair of the California Senate Rules Committee, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), who recommended Dessert to serve on the commission, issued the following statement:

“Cara Dessert is a leader in the fight for immigration equality and LGBTQ+ immigrant rights in San Diego. She has helped bring awareness to the struggles of some of our most marginalized neighbors, which includes access to health care, and I am confident she will bring that same passion and tenacity to her appointment to the Healthy California for All Commission.”

Cara Dessert is an attorney and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Dessert was previously the executive director of Immigration Equality, a national organization focused on LGBT immigrant rights. She served in the California Department of Justice in the Office of the Attorney General as a Deputy Attorney General in the Public Rights Division for then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Dessert began her work in social justice as a community organizing coordinator and field director for the No on 8/Equality for All campaign. Dessert has a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego. 

The Healthy California for All Commission is focused on developing a plan to achieve a health care delivery system for the state that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system. The commission has 13 voting members, including Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, eight gubernatorial appointees and four legislative appointees. There are also five ex-officio, non-voting members.

Dessert is one of the four legislative appointees.



Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: