Speier pledges to be a people's advocate as California
California State Senator Jackie Speier
By Pat Murphy
February 6, 2005
State Senator Jackie Speier dedicates her campaign for California
Lieutenant Governor to championing higher education, statewide
oversight hearings and consumer advocacy.
She laid that framework in a Friday reception introduced by San
Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.
"Jackie does things for the people of California that are
truly remarkable and she is truly fearless," Peskin noted.
"Water flows up hill to money in the United States of America.
"When you go and get a credit card they sell your private
financial information - you have no control over that. It is a
fundamental breach of your privacy.
"You want to get along in politics, you want to move up
in politics - you don't fight those people. That's the rule.
"Jackie Speier led the State of California against a governor
who was dubious, against a state legislature that was dubious.
"And she fought that fight and she lost. Twenty-five million
dollars they rained down in the California State Senate and the
"And she came back the next year, and then she came back
the next year and it became the law of the land."
Speier noted actions speak louder than words.
"I am here running for Lieutenant Governor not to provide
you with lip service but with leadership," Speier reflected.
"I am not going to be an elected official that looks at
polls and then decides what to do.
"Part of my job is to education. Part of my job is not to
plan for the next election but to plan for the next generation.
"The (office of) Lieutenant Governor in this state is not
well understood - the role and the responsibility.
"Most people know, as Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy used
to say, he used to get up every morning and his first task of
the day was to check the obituaries."
The California Lieutenant Governor succeeds an incapacitated
"I don't put in quite those terms, but...beyond that the
Lieutenant Governor has many opportunities to be a truly impactful
person among the constitutional offices," continued Speier.
"The Lieutenant Governor serves on the Board of Regents
UC and on the CSU Board of Trustees. I'm carrying a bill this
year to also require the Lieutenant Governor to also serve on
the Community College Board.
"I'm going to turn that office into the guardian of higher
education and then forevermore the expectation...of all of the
people of the state is that the Lieutenant Governor is looking
out for higher education.
"What has happened to higher education?
"When I was a student at UC fifty percent of the funding
came from the State of California. Today it is 27%.
"At the same time we have ratcheted up tuition by 64% at
UC, 74% at CSU and almost double the per-unit costs in Community
"There are 165,000 students at UC. There are 165,000 inmates
at state prison. We spend three times as much money on the inmates
in state prison as we do on the students at the University of
"We've built 18 new prisons in the last 20 years. We've
built but one new UC campus in the last 40 years.
"The salary on average for a prison guard with a GED or
high school diploma is $67,000 a year. The salary of an assistant
professor at UC -- $54,000."
If elected Lieutenant Governor, Speier would preside over the
California Senate as president.
She pledged to hold oversight hearings throughout California.
"I'm going to go around the state and hold oversight meetings
much like I've done in the legislature whether it was on methamphetamine
abuse a couple of weeks ago, or gender equity at the University
of California, or the way the Department of Corrections wastes
Speier also would use the office to serve as consumer advocate,
"Consumer advocacy doesn't get a lot of play in the legislature
because the truth of the matter is there is no political action
committee...but the public cares deeply about whether or not their
financial information is being sold, or whether or not the food
they are buying is indeed organic or not," Speier stated.
Democratic Party stalwart Fred Naranjo hosted the event, suggesting
Speier remains attuned to Californians due to her humble roots.
Fred Naranjo (left)
"Jackie and I have had a relationship for many, many years...we
go back to humble beginnings.
"Jackie comes from humble beginnings. She understands...the
average individual's struggle - what it means and also what it
means to be successful.
"But more importantly Jackie has really been committed to
"There is no one who has fought for consumerism for the
average person...she really does. I've never meet anyone who has
championed that like Jackie."
Laura Rose, Jaime Jensen, Alex Skillman, and Toni Stinton