1969-1970: President, California Democratic Council
1973-1974: Chair, California Democratic Party
1974: Resigned from the State Assembly on June 25.
1998-2004: President pro Tempore, California State Senate
2004-Present: Chair, John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes
2008: Proponent, Proposition 7 [Renewable Energy Generation] (Failed; 35.1%)
2008: Early Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2010 (withdrew)
2009-Present: Chairman, California Democratic Party
2012: Opponent, Proposition 32 [Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction] (Failed; 43.9%)
2016: Delegate, Democratic National Convention
- LEGISLATION: Author of SB 1148 (1999) which prohibits the governing documents of a common-interest housing development, such as a condominium complex, from including covenants that restrict access to the development to persons based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, marital status, disability, national origin, or ancestry. [Chapter 589/Statutes of 1999]
- LEGISLATION: Author of 1974 bill that created the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
- LEGISLATION: Principal Coauthor of SB 400 (1999) [with Deborah Ortiz] which created new Public Employee Retirement System pension formula allowing a retirement benefit factor of 2% at age 55 increasing to 2.5% at age 63 and above. These more generous pension plans have resulted in a massive unfunded liability for CALPERS that is now (in 2012) estimated at $85 billion. (Chapt. 555, Stats of 1999)
- LEGISLATION: Author of SB1x 31 (2001) Authorized the sale of $13 billion in bonds to pay the high electricity costs that resulted from the energy deregulation.
- From Burton's biography in the 1971 Blue Book: "Dedicated to achieving a world of human dignity, social justice, and lasting peace."
- In 1965, Burton was the target of an attempted recall led by John Carney. The recall failed to qualify for the ballot.
- PLACENAME: At the State Capitol, Room 4203 has been named the John L. Burton Hearing Room.
- PLACENAME: The Sloat Boulevard portion of State Highway 35 in San Francisco has been designated as the John Burton Highway (SCR 93 of 2012).
- Kimiko Burton was the San Francisco Public Defender (2001-2002), and a member of the State Personnel Board (2012-Present) and a Delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Source: California Blue Book (1971), (2000)
Source: California Legislature Handbook (1991-92)