Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Jason Elliot

Jason Elliot. Illustration by Chris Shary

7. Jason Elliott

Officially, Jason Elliott is Gov. Newsom’s Deputy Chief of Staff, a title that doesn’t really define his importance to the governor. He has been close to Newsom for years and has been Newsom’s trusted point person on three critical hot-button political issues – homelessness, housing and improved treatment for the mentally ill – issues that were surpassed in media attention only by wildfires and climate change. Elliott and Newsom go way back, and a key reason is that Elliott is comfortable with both politics and policy, having served as senior advisor on Newsom’s gubernatorial campaigns and on his transition team, and was chief deputy cabinet secretary. He worked for Newsom when the latter was mayor of San Francisco and has been close to him ever since. He was one of Newsom’s earliest appointments after taking office in 2019, and has proven indispensable, regardless of his titles, which have included director of intergovernmental affairs. He has degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and Columbia University, and he is married to Nicole Elliott, who heads California’s Department of Cannabis Control.

Updated Aug. 15, 2023

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