Joe Simitian served as President of the Palo Alto School Board from 1983 to 1991. He was on the Palo Alto City Council from 1992 to 1996 and served as Mayor for part of that time. Simitian was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in November 1996. From 1997 to 2000 he represented District 5 (Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Mountain View, Saratoga, and Stanford, as well as portions of Sunnyvale and San Jose).
Joe Simitian currently serves as the California State Senator for District 11.