Public Comment

State Senate District 9 Candidate Statement: Loni Hancock

Thursday May 22, 2008 - 10:45:00 AM

As your state senator, I will use my experience in local, state and national government to continue to fight for universal healthcare, strong environmental protections, campaign finance reform and better schools. I have spent many years working with people in Berkeley and the Bay Area for responsive government and social justice—serving as one of President Clinton’s top education officials, two terms as the first woman elected as mayor of Berkeley, eight years on the Berkeley City Council and three terms in the state Assembly.  

As chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, I co-authored landmark legislation to create an enforceable cap on greenhouse gases, and am helping make California a leader in the fight against global warming. I led the fight to stop a housing development on a former toxic waste site and passed landmark legislation that will prevent similar situations in the future. 

Legislation that I authored increased recycling rates by historic levels in 2007. I am leading the fight to secure funds to enhance East Shore State Park.  

I am proud to be the only candidate endorsed by both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters and to have been named Legislator of the Year by Californians Against Waste.  

I am the co-author of legislation to establish universal healthcare in California and am fighting to ensure that all Californians have affordable, quality healthcare. I am proud to be endorsed by the California Nurses Association.  

As mayor of Berkeley, I helped establish Berkeley High School’s health clinic. As a member of the Budget Committee, I restored $29 million in health care funding for children with developmental disabilities that Gov. Schwarzenegger tried to cut. I was one of only two Democrats to oppose Governor Schwarzenegger’s $544 million cut to health care in 2008. I am co-authoring legislation that will expand health care to 300,000 uninsured children.  

Improving our educational systems has always been one of my highest priorities. In the 1990s, I led the Clinton administration’s efforts in four western states to launch after-school, college preparation and early reading programs. On the Assembly Education Committee, I passed California’s exciting new law to improve hands-on learning in small learning communities in high schools and reduce California’s unacceptable high school dropout rate.  

As a legislator, I have fought to protect funding for schools. Over the years, I have organized opposition to cuts to education funding, whether it be for K-12 or community colleges, CSU or UC. This year, I was the only Democratic legislator to vote against Governor Schwarzenegger’s $506 million cut to our public schools. Because of my commitment to public schools, I have been endorsed by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association. 

I am the lead legislator working on campaign finance reform in California. As author of the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act, I am pushing to get special interest money out of state elections through a publicly financed system based on successful models in Arizona and Maine. Currently, I am co-authoring legislation that will prevent high-paid lobbyists from giving gifts to state legislators. 

I am fighting on behalf of seniors. I helped pass a law requiring employees of financial institutions to report suspected financial elder abuse. As a member of the budget committee, I fought for a $2 million increase in Alzheimer’s research. I supported increased funding for prostate cancer care for low-income men and fought cuts to the Senior Nutrition and Foster Grandparent Programs. I recently authored legislation that expands day health care centers to provide services to frail older adults and have held workshops throughout my District to help seniors negotiate through the confusing choices of Medicare Part D and to protect themselves against identity theft. 

I have fought for working families and am proud to be endorsed by many other labor organizations including: 


• Berkeley Fire Fighters Association, Local 1227. 

• California Conference of Machinists.  

• California Labor Federation. 

• Communication Workers of America, Northern California and Nevada. 

• Central Labor Council of Alameda • County. 

• Central Labor Council of Contra Costa County. 

• Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council. 

• International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. 

• International Longshore and Warehouse Union. 

• International Union of Painters & Allied Trades District Council 16. 

• Northern California Carpenters Regional Council. 

• Public Employees Union, Local One.  

• Teamsters’ Joint Council No. 7 . 

• United Auto Workers Region 5. 

• United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 5. 

I am the official candidate of the California Democratic Party, and have received the endorsement of the Cal Berkeley Democrats, the East Bay Lesbian/Gay Democratic Club, Berkeley Citizens Action and the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers. 

My other endorsers include: Members of Congress Barbara Lee and George Miller, Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, Supervisor Keith Carson, Mayors Ron Dellums and Tom Bates and seven other East Bay mayors, Berkeley City Councilmembers Max Anderson, Laurie Capitelli, Linda Maio, Darryl Moore, Betty Olds, Gordon Wozniak and Berkeley School Boardmembers Karen Hemphill, Shirley Issel, and Nancy Riddle, East Bay Regional Park District Director Nancy Skinner, AC Transit Directors Chris Peeples, Joe Wallace and Greg Harper, BART Director Robert Franklin and East Bay MUD Director Andy Katz. 

I would be honored to have your vote on June 3. 

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