Known for: Phil Isenberg served for seven years as Sacramento mayor (1975-82) and 14 years in the state Assembly.
Background: Isenberg, the son of a state parole hearing officer and a school administrator, graduated from El Camino High School and went to California State University, Sacramento. In 1967, he earned his law degree at the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall and went immediately to work as a lawyer in Willie Brown's San Francisco law office. In 1969, he came back to Sacramento to open a law office. Two years later, he began serving two years as a member of the Sacramento City Council before becoming mayor. During his tenure in the Legislature, he specialized in a variety of governmental activities, including the state budget and state-local government financial relations. He serves on a variety of boards of directors, including WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment) in Sacramento.
A highlight: During the 63-day delay in passing a state budget in 1992, Isenberg and Republican Sen. Frank Hill proposed an alternative budget that helped lead to an eventual settlement of the deadlock.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were compiled by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.