Steve Weir is perhaps best remembered for his years on the Concord City Council.
Before he ever sat on the council or accepted his current job as Contra Costa County clerk, he cut his political teeth in his hometown of Pleasant Hill.
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Patch's stories about Weir:
Career and Retirement
Growing up in Pleasant Hill
Politics in Concord
Friday: Life as a Gay Politician
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Weir, who is retiring March 29, was born in Richmond in 1949, the youngest of five children. His family lived briefly in Danville before settling in Pleasant Hill in the early 1950s.
They lived in two homes, including one in Gregory Gardens, the first subdivision ever built in Contra Costa County.
One home was on Maybelle Drive. The other was on Mazie Drive. At the Maybelle home, the family had to take a boat to safety during the flood of 1955.
"One home flooded, the one other didn't," Weir recalled.
Weir remembers Pleasant Hill as a place where kids could roam fields, climb trees and build forts.
"Growing up in Pleasant Hill was fun," Weir said.
Weir got his start in politics early. He remembers his parents and neighbors being involved in the formation of the Pleasant Hill Water District in the 1950s.
Weir and his neighbor, Nancy Campanelli, were given leaflets and told to pass them out door-to-door. The two 5-year-olds set off together with no adult chaperones. No one needed to worry about their safety.
"It was a different era back then," Weir said.
Weir also remembers becoming interested in Sen. John Kennedy's successful run for the presidency in 1960 against Republican Vice President Richard Nixon.
"I was really excited about Kennedy," he recalled.
During that election, the 11-year-old Weir got into lively discussions with his buddy Ray Sloan, a Republican who was also 11. The two would become lifelong friends.
More than anything, Weir liked to sit close while his parents and other grown-ups debated politics.
"I liked listening to the adults," he said. "I would just sit on the sidelines and listen."
Weir's older brother, Jack Weir, also remembers the immersion in politics at a young age.
"He loved politics. He was surrounded by it as he grew up, so he came to it naturally," said Weir, who is a member of the Pleasant Hill City Council.
The younger Weir attended Diablo Vista and Strandwood Elementary schools as well as Pleasant Hill Intermediate.
He was interested in government at that young age and knew all the Supreme Court justices as well as the president's Cabinet members. He also read biographies, using all this knowledge to impress teachers and his parents' friends.
"Getting attention from adults was magical," said Weir.
Weir attended College Park High, graduating in 1967. He was sophomore and junior class president. He also ran for student body president twice and was defeated.
Older brother Jack remembers Steve as an intelligent youngster who not only picked up their parents' interest in politics but also their father's interest in woodworking and their mother's interest in birds.
"He was a very bright kid. He always was interested in what was going on," said Jack Weir.
Steve Weir's Pleasant Hill days officially ended when he enrolled at UC Berkeley. While he was in college, Weir lived in a cottage that sat on the back of two acres a Berkeley professor owned in Walnut Creek.
After college, Weir planned to move back to Pleasant Hill but found the rents too high for his meager income. So, instead, he moved to some affordable housing in Concord, where his political career was launched.