Dear Friends and Neighbors,
For over twenty years I have served in public office, including more than a decade in the Legislature. Although I have enjoyed my job as a lawmaker, my first love is still the administration of justice. As I leave the Legislature when my term expires at the end of November, I will return to my private law practice.
I am immeasurably grateful for the faith, trust and support of our great community and the hard work of my dedicated staff and supporters.
Together, we wrote the nation’s first Homeowner's Bill of Rights, improved our foster care system, protected the coast, kept state parks open, updated regulation in support of California’s wine industry, preserved the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as the cornerstone of California's environmental protection laws, and much more.
As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I worked to strengthen consumer and privacy protection and keep our courthouses open in the face of massive budget cuts. I also chaired the Legislative Women’s Caucus, advocating for the interests of women and children.
When California faced the Recession and the possibility of economic collapse, as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee I was able to prevent the worst of many attempts to dismantle public and social safety net services. After many difficult years, I feel confident that the state is moving in the right direction under Governor Brown’s leadership and with a strong Democratic majority in each house.
California’s unemployment level is dropping; the state budget is projected to see a modest growth of approximately $5.6 billion in 2014-2015, instead of the $34.7 billion deficit of previous years which wreaked havoc in the lives of millions of Californians. Our rising home prices and numerous new building permits show our state is well into recovery.
Today, California leads the nation in implementing the Affordable Healthcare Act; 5 million uninsured Californians now have access to indispensable health services. Our economy is now recovering faster than most other states’ and we’ve even reclaimed our title as the world's eighth-largest economy. Together, we have pulled ourselves out of the worst depression in history.
As I return to my private practice, I will continue to be a strong advocate for progressive values, working families, equal protection and justice in our community. I hope my efforts over the past two decades have contributed in some small measure to a better future for us all. As I bid you farewell from public office, I look forward to joining you again as a private citizen. I’m deeply honored to have served as your representative for so many years and I am so grateful to each of you for your support.
California State Senator
Second Senatorial District