Thursday, April 3, 2008

Senator Carol Migden

Larry D. Halstead, Senator Carol Migden, 34th AD Candidate Desmond Farrelly
March 30, 2008 at Democratic Convention in San Jose, CA

Carole Migden represents the 3rd District in the California State Senate, which comprises the eastern half of the City and County of San Francisco, all of Marin County, and portions of Sonoma County, including the communities of Petaluma and Rohnert Park. She was elected to the Senate in November of 2004.

Currently Migden is chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, a key Senate leadership position. Sen. Migden also serves as Chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. In 2004, she started her path into Senate leadership as Chair of the Appropriations Committee—an extraordinary accomplishment for a freshman member.

In 2007 Migden tackled many issues important to Californians. Believing California owes foster children, and children under supervision by Child Protective Services, a safe environment in which to grow up, she introduced legislation to make the system more accountable to the public and more protective of these children’s lives.

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration poised to allow products from cloned animals to be sold for human consumption, Migden authored legislation in 2007 and again this year to require clear labeling of those products in the event they reach California grocery shelves. In 2007 Migden legislation also created a state program that increases awareness of the lifesaving properties of umbilical cord stem cells in combating 70 blood diseases and the value of storing cord blood in case of future need, and provides cord blood stem cells to researchers looking for cures and treatments for blood disorders.

During 2007 Senator Migden also worked hard to secure over $503 million for deserving needs in her Senate district including substantial funding for Highway 101 traffic improvements, LGBT domestic violence prevention, North Bay flood prevention reimbursements, employment assistance for transgender individuals and historic preservation projects.

In 2008 Migden has introduced several consumer protection measures including legislation to halt price gouging by airport rental car companies and another to ensure that new car warranties aren’t voided by improper practices encouraged by insurance companies and auto-body repair businesses. Migden also responded to flaws in our state oil spill prevention plan by introducing legislation that requires much quicker responses to oil spills.

This year Migden continues to work on equality issues that strengthen our families and our communities. Recognizing that many straight couples decline to marry, she introduced legislation in 2007 and again in 2008 to allow any committed couple over the age of 18 to register as domestic partners. This legislation respects the decisions made by modern-day couples on how best to structure and protect their families.

In her first years as a Senator, Migden had many substantial accomplishments, including new laws requiring cosmetics companies to disclose to the state cancer-causing agents in their products; a measure to increase the state’s focus on vocational education in our schools, and a bill to provide mental health assessments for young people in California’s beleaguered juvenile justice system, among many others. On top of that, Migden secured over $30 million for wildlife, transportation and education programs in San Francisco and Marin and led the effort to bring the headquarters for the new Stem Cell Research headquarters to San Francisco.

Prior to being elected to the Senate, Carole Migden served as Chairwoman of the California Board of Equalization (BOE); the nation's only publicly elected tax commission; represented San Francisco's 13th District in the California State Assembly; and for five years served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

During her tenure at the BOE Senator Migden worked to modernize the state's outdated tax system and manage taxpayers' money responsibly. Her accomplishments at the BOE included strengthening domestic partners' property rights, leveling the playing field between Main Street and on-line retailers, protecting California's precious open space, and advocating for increased revenues to fund vital services by eliminating obsolete tax breaks.

In the State Assembly, Migden served for five years as Chairwoman of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. She was the first woman and the first freshman legislator to chair that influential committee. For four years she also served as a conferee on the state's Joint Budget Conference Committee, which writes the final version of California's state budget.

In that time Carole Migden authored legislation to create California's landmark domestic partner registry, promote children's health, preserve the old growth Headwaters Forrest, increase accountability in K-12 schools, protect borrowers from predatory and deceptive lending practices, protect consumers from manipulation by energy generators, and promote the use of emergency contraception.

Senator Migden has received numerous awards for her service. California Journal named her among California's power elite of women elected officials and awarded her with their "Rookie of the Year" award in 1998, taking top honors in the categories of most integrity, most intelligence, hardest working, most ambitious, and most influential. She received "Legislator of the Year" honors in 1999 from the California School Employees Association and in 2001 from the California National Organization for Women (NOW), as well as leadership awards from prominent environmental and civil rights organizations. She continues to receive high honors in California Journal's annual rankings, including "Quick Study" in 2002.

Carole Migden is a longtime member of, and current super-delegate to, the Democratic National Committee. She also served as chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party for eight years.

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