content begins here

Meet Tom

Tom shaking hands

Tom Steyer is committed to combating climate change, fighting for racial justice and putting people, and not corporations, in charge of our democracy.

After starting and growing a successful investment firm, Tom stepped down in 2012 to focus his energy and resources to these causes.

Tom and Kat

Giving Pledge

Tom, a self-made billionaire, and Kat Taylor were among the first to sign the Giving Pledge — a commitment to give away the bulk of their personal fortune during their lifetimes.

Tom and Kat
Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor volunteering at the Respite Center in Texas.
Tom registering a voter
Tom registers voters
Thanks for noticing my favorite belt! I bought it on a trip to Kenya from female artisans. I wear it as a reminder not to be so formal, and also as a symbol that the world is a better place when we educate women and girls.

Grassroots Organizing

NextGen Nevada Organizing director Tia
NextGen Nevada Organizing Director Tia canvassing.
NextGen state field team
NextGenField team.

In 2013, he founded NextGen America, a nonprofit group that combats climate change, promotes social justice, and increases participation in our democracy through voter registration and grassroots organizing.

“Steyer’s youth voter turnout campaign was critical and likely helped Democrats take back the House.”

─ Forbes, Nov. 9, 2018

In 2017, Tom became the first major Democrat to rally millions of Americans with a public call to impeach Donald Trump.

Need to Impeach mobilized millions of its petition signers. All these voters contributed to Democratic wins that took back the House, won Senate seats and governorships, and captured seats in state legislatures and local races.

Need To Impeach rally
Need To Impeach rally in San Francisco

2020 Run for President

Tom at Charleston rally

Tom announced his candidacy for president July 9, 2019 to address the top crisis facing our nation and planet: climate change. He campaigned on the promise to make the climate crisis his number one priority and to break the corporate stranglehold on our democracy, which prevents any progress on achieving environmental, economic, and racial justice.

Tom kept that promise throughout his campaign, consistently bringing climate and racial disparities front and center during debates when no other candidate would.

When Tom suspended his campaign in February 2020, he vowed to continue working with communities most impacted by environmental and racial justice and to campaign for the election of progressive leaders, at all levels of government.

Only a broad-based grassroots movement can restore power, fairness, and prosperity to the people.

Tom Steyer on the 2020 Presidential campaign in South Carolina

Across the country and in his home state of California, Tom has shown repeatedly that going directly to the people and raising their voices is the way to beat entrenched corporate interests and win fights for fairness.

He helped beat Big Oil to protect California’s landmark clean-air laws and he followed that up with wins for clean energy in Michigan and Nevada. He helped close a massive corporate tax loophole to generate at least $1.7 billion for public schools. He helped beat big tobacco companies and forced them to pay their share of healthcare costs for the harm their products have caused.

The acorn on Kat’s cap is from the bank that Tom and Kat started: Beneficial State Bank. The acorn is a reminder to co-workers and customers of the promise of a new banking system. A tiny seed from which mighty oaks spring.

Tom and Kat have devoted countless hours of their time and donated tens of millions of dollars to charitable projects that advance education, renewable energy, clean air and water, healthy food, sustainable agriculture, self-sustaining communities and more.

Investing to Make a Difference

Tom’s parents taught him that action always speaks louder than words.

Their charitable foundation powered the creation of “California Food for California Kids,” a program that now serves more than 300 million healthy meals yearly to the state’s school kids using natural food from California farms.

They also started Beneficial State Bank in 2007 which serves low income individuals, people of color, small businesses, and nonprofit community projects shut out by regular banks. Since then, the bank has grown to $1 billion in assets. Tom and Kat have given more than $120 million to building the bank, which reinvests any profits back into the communities it serves. Their support of the bank is ongoing.

Together, Tom and Kat also founded the TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation, which promotes regenerative ranching practices on an 1,800-acre working cattle ranch.

In 2014, Tom founded NextGen Policy, a California based non-profit dedicated to supporting and advocating for progressive state policies with a focus on environmental, social, racial, and economic justice. In 2021, Kat joined as the new head of NextGen Policy’s Board.

Recently, they have been working to pass progrssive legislation to address racial and inequities. In 2021, Tom and Kat are supporting SB 364, “School Meals for All,” which provides fresh food to California schools for all kids who qualify for free or reduced meals, to pass the California legislature.

Tom’s family

Young Tom and his family
Tom grew up in New York City, the youngest of three brothers. Shown: Brothers Hume, Jim, and Tom Steyer
This was my dog growing up named Pompy. When my brothers and I went swimming, she would jump in with us. As a Welsh Corgi her instinct was to herd and she would try to herd us in the water! Always a reminder to look out for others.
Tom and his mother

His mother, Marnie, was a journalist and teacher who taught in the city schools and volunteered to tutor prisoners in a large city jail.

His father, Roy, interrupted his law career to join the Navy and serve on the legal team that prosecuted Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg.

Tom graduated from Yale and earned his MBA at Stanford. Working on Wall St. was not for him, so he moved to San Francisco in 1986 and started his own small investment firm. Backed by two seasoned investors, Tom started managing the new fund, which began with $9 million in investments.

Over the years, Tom achieved double-digit returns for his investors — mostly universities, foundations and individuals. His success built the firm to $36 billion in investments at the fund’s peak.

Tom's family
Tom is 62. He and Kat have four grown children.
San Francisco has been their home since 1986.
Tom loves meeting Americans. During the campaign he listened to a wide variety of people talk about their challenges and fights as well as their solutions and ideas. Tom was able to elevate how climate change was affecting so many lives and how the corporate takeover of our democracy has hampered real solutions. While he has ended his campaign, Tom is still in the fight. He wants to keep hearing people’s stories and learning about their lives.

Tell him your story

Tom smiling