Nicholas "Nick" Christos Petris (February 25, 1923 - March 20, 2013 ) represented Oakland as a Democratic State Senator in the California State Legislature for 37 years, from 1966 to 1996. Due to term limits, Petris retired in 1996. During his time in office, Petris represented the 11th District from 1966 to 1976; from 1976 to 1996 he represented the 9th District. Before serving in the State Senate, Petris was a California State Assemblyman for the 15th District from 1958 to 1966.
Born in Oakland to Greek immigrants Chris and Mary Petris, Nicholas Petris graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree in journalism, then went on to obtain his law degree from Stanford University.
As one of the leading liberals advocating for such issues as affordable housing, the rights of farm workers, mental health, environmental concerns and tax reform. There is so much to appreciate about Senator Petris, including his authorship of bills banning smoking on buses, planes and trains in California. He was also an early fan of single payer healthcare.
Petris' home was one of 2,700 which were destroyed during the Oakland Hills Firestorm of 1991, along with his entire personal library of Greek history, Greek philosophy and English literature.
Married 60 years to Anna Vlahos Petris, she died in 2010. Nicholas Petris passed away on March 20, 2013 at Piedmont Gardens following a multi-year struggle with Alzheimer's.
Links and References
Nicholas Petris dies at 90; liberal California lawmaker Los Angeles Times March 23, 2013
Know Your Candidates: Assembly, 15th District Oakland Tribune May 23, 1962
Nicholas Petris dies, longtime lawmaker SFGate March 20, 2013