Dr. Merry


for California State Assembly, District 69

Hello! I am your neighbor, Dr. Merry Taheri.

An experienced leader fighting for you and your family.

Dr. Merry Taheri is the first Afghan-American Nurse Practitioner running for the California State Assembly, District 69 to bring the perspective of a wife, mother, health professional, and advocate to the important work of moving our state forward.  District 69, which includes parts of Long Beach, Carson, Signal Hill, and Avalon deserves a representative who has on the ground experience addressing the health needs of real people.  The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our system and the inequities in health access that too many residents in District 69 — and throughout our state — confront on a daily basis.

Overcoming obstacles and challenges is nothing new for Merry. As a young girl in Afghanistan, Merry was orphaned when her father, the Health Minister of Kandahar Province, along with her mother and younger sister, were assassinated by the Russian military (Soviet Union).  His crime was providing care as a surgeon to all and persistent refusal to join the Communist regime.  Merry was only seven, and after being smuggled out of Afghanistan with her only surviving sibling, she returned to the United States.

Born in New York City, Merry was raised by extended family and required government assistance to survive her circumstances.  She vowed early in life to dedicate herself to the care of others as her parents had.  Determined to have an impact and leverage the support she received to achieve self-sufficiency, Merry focused on her education, ultimately earning a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of California San Francisco. 

Dr. Merry Taheri has 24+ years as a nurse/nurse practitioner in multiple Emergency Departments within Los Angeles County areas serving the most vulnerable communities.  Dr. Merry has experience in Forensics as a Sexual Assault Examiner working with multiple law enforcement agencies. She is also an Educator in Nursing at various junior Colleges and Universities, including Mt San Antonio, Chaffey College, and California State University Long Beach.

Dr. Merry believes actions speak louder than words.  She was on the frontlines from the start of the pandemic with her clinical team leading the efforts at 3 COVID sites/hospitals that she opened and oversaw with multi-million-dollar budgets.  She advocated for free COVID testing for all as an advisor on the Presidential COVID Task Team.  Currently, she oversees healthcare services for the homeless population on Skid Row with the Los Angeles County Department of Health.  As a volunteer in the public schools, Merry has observed alarming anxiety and depression in young children in the classroom.  She cares about our future and will be a fierce advocate for ensuring that resources are targeted to the priorities that touch people’s lives in positive ways.

Healthcare, the homelessness crisis, and education are key priorities Dr. Merry will focus on in the California State Assembly.  Her own life experience and the work she has done in community clinics targeting impoverished residents have served to deepen her understanding of the complex human needs the government must prioritize if we are to ensure a brighter future for all Californians.  From healthcare and affordable housing to education, climate change and addressing homelessness, mental health and substance use disorder. Dr. Merry Taheri has hands-on experience focusing on service and solutions that improve people’s lives. 

Dr. Merry Taheri was appointed by the Long Beach Mayor in 2021 for the commissioner position.  The Commissioners meet once a month to review several cases that the citizen’s filed against police officers.  The Commissioners discuss and make recommendations regarding the citizen’s complaint based on their review and findings of report written by the special investigator who conducts and completes the investigation as well as body cam footage if available, written complaints by the citizens, and any other available documents related to the case.

Dr. Merry and her husband, a Grammy-award winning composer, are raising their two public elementary school children in Long Beach where they have lived for 14 years.  In the little free time she has, she enjoys surfing and scuba diving.

Service Highlights

  • Poll Worker through Department of Health Services Los Angeles County in Long Beach, 2016
  • Inspirational Speaker, Rancho Cucamonga Public Schools, 2000 – 2005
  • Guest Speaker on health-related topics for Afghan American international TV, 2007-present
  • Parent Volunteer, Various Classrooms, 2015 – Present
  • Community Coordinator, Widow & Orphan Fundraising, 2002-2008
  • Manage fundraising for a School for orphans/widows in Afghanistan, 2002-2008
  • Volunteer NP, Flying Sam, 2006-2008
  • Volunteer NP with Dr. Jamie Garcia at Pomona Coalition clinic visiting and evaluating people experiencing homelessness at shelters, 2005-2008
  • Volunteer, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, 2013-2015
  • Volunteer Board member, The Dream Builders Project, 2017-2019

Community Memberships

  • Nursing Organization Member: CANP, AANP, ANA 1998-Present
  • Nursing Labor Union Member: UNAC 2000-2011, SEIU 2008-Present
  • Nurse Alliance committee member through SEIU: elected position by LA county nurses 2018-present
  • Volunteer: Lobbying through SEIU in Sacramento for healthcare affordability and accessibility and nurse patient issues 2018-present
  • Sigma Theta Tau member, 2002-2005
  • Member of Afghan American Young Professionals, 2005-2008



  • Provide incentives for responsible developers and homeowners to make efficient use of land.
  • Mixed-use neighborhoods increase walkability, diversity, and opportunities to live near jobs and transit centers.
  • 60% of residents in Long Beach are renters. Tenant protection is essential to ensure that families are not at risk of needless eviction into homelessness.
  • Break down red tape allowing for a more streamlined process of ADU approval for supplemental rental income and more housing options.


  • Housing First. Expand permanent supportive housing to allow people the stability to get off the streets.
  • Once permanently housed, provide wraparound services to ensure those housed don’t fall back into homelessness.
  • Increase the conversion of hotels and motels into permanent support housing.
  • Hold local city and county accountable in providing transparency on funds provided through the state for homelessness.


  • Healthcare is a fundamental right.
  • Establish universal coverage in California.
  • Expand access to reproductive services.


  • Provide mental health services to students, faculty, and school administrators. The pandemic has devastated our youths academically and emotionally.
  • Improve technical training to prepare our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. 
  • Expand free tuition at community colleges to all.

The Environment

  • Increase investment in renewable energy and make it affordable for people to drive electric cars.
  • Expand public transportation to decrease pollution, congestion, and our reliance on fossil fuels.


Your donation helps fuel our people-powered campaign to fight for working families in our community.


Community Leaders & Organizations

Frances Byhower
College Professor

Doctors of Nursing Practice

California Bicycle Coalition

Dr. Mike Vasilomanolakis 


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