California Senator Barbara Boxer
Barbara Levy Boxer was born on November 11, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, and is the current junior United State Senator from California. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
She was born to Sophie and Ira Levy and studied through Public schools and graduated in 1958 from George W. Wingate High School. She is of the Jewish Faith; and while still a senior student in Brooklyn College, she got married to Mr. Stewart Boxer in 1962, and graduated the same year with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics (Brody, 1996).
During the early years of her marriage, Senator Barbara Boxer worked as a stockbroker and enabled her husband get through Fordham Law School. Her husband graduated from Fordham Law School and passed the bar exam after which they moved to San Francisco, California where he took up a legal position. The couple has two grown up children, Doug and Nicole, and four grand children (Biography, 2011).
In California, she continued as a stockbroker and later took interest in addressing the dropout rate in high schools in Marin providing dropouts with job training. Success of the program called Education Corps of Marin, prompted the Marin County to adopt it. In 1972, she vied for membership in the Marin County Board of Supervisors. She lost and worked as a journalist with the Pacific Sun. For two years, she was an aide for Congressman and former California Senator, John Burton, after which she again vied for a seat in the Marin County Board of Supervisors and won.
After six years as Supervisor, she was elected as the first female Chairperson, Marin County Board of Supervisors. In 1982, Barbara Boxer won a seat in the United States House of Representatives as a representative for California District 6. While at the House of Representatives, she advocated strongly for human rights, environmental protection, protection of whistleblowers, reforms in US military procurement reforms, airline cabin safety, and took a pro-choice standpoint on abortion debates (Biography, 2011).
After ten years in the House of Representatives, she was elected as Senator for California in November 3, 1992, and currently, still is. She was set to retire from politics in 2004 but chose to run for re-election and won with the highest vote in American history. She has proven to be an aggressive and tireless advocate for liberal causes with emphasis on those affecting families, the environment, peace efforts and human rights. She is the first woman Chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Public Works in the United State Senate, ensured passage of the Water Resources Development Act which had been previously delayed for six years and Chair to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. She sponsored the California Missions Preservation Act campaign towards quality public education, tax incentives with tax cuts which revitalized the US economy (Brody, 1996).
After the 9/11 terrorist attack on American soil, she advocated for the use of Air marshals on US flights. The Crime Bill passed in 1984, which she supported, achieved the least crime rate in more than two decades. Barbara Boxer established centers for treatment of wounded security services members. She also serves on the Senate Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. She chairs subcommittees on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues (A Biography). She is the first Senator elected as a Democrat since the 1950’s, and is currently a member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate and has served as Chief Deputy Whip from 2005.
In recent years, politics in the state of California have been and still are quite complex with ingrained interests taking center stage in decisions making. Republican areas are Northern California, central Valley area, southern California. Democrats are the majority in Los Angeles County, San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento. A large percentage of the population in and around the LA county and the San Francisco Bay Area as is most of California are skewed towards being liberal. Since the 1950’s, the Republicans have won in every Californian election, with Presidents Nixon and Reagan being from California.
Immigrants of Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans and migrations of liberals from northern states provide for a majority of the Democratic vote. Migration from California to other States has been witnessed mainly; whites, upper and middle upper class citizens, who have been the Republican voters giving advantage of numbers to the Democrats. There has been a pronounced case of gerrymandering in the State of California. This has been engineered by both the Democrats and the Republicans for the sole purpose of maintaining a status quo practicable for both parties for a balance of power. This has had the effect of assigning districts such that they have a majority of either party; with the remaining districts being competed upon elections outcomes.
This mutual agreement was agreed upon after release of data from the 2000 census which indicated the need for the setting up of fresh district boundaries. However, Byzantine boundaries did appear, though parties retained traditional strongholds (A Biography). Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, recommended awarding retired California judges the task of determining new district boundaries. This was however shot down following the preceding special election along with other initiatives by the Governor’s team and various independent initiatives.
The US house of Representative districts are not as competitive as to California state districts and with respect to the 10th congressional district in the South Francisco Bay Area was taken by a Democrat with money to counter campaigns by an incumbent Republican who held the seat since the district was formed in 1990 (York, 2011). This represented a major victory for the Democrats but had no impact on the outcome of the 2004 elections. In the 2006 California elections, a Democrat again won over an incumbent Republican and the change in the population’s demography was not enough to cause the upset. This was viewed by many as due to Republican hardliner standpoints in regards to the environment and as a result of the gerrymander agreement between the two major parties (York, 2011).
These events have propagated negative effects in the undertakings exhibited in the political dispensations collaborated by democrats and Republicans. The 2008 budget stalemate of the State of California has been cited as the response of gerrymandering as has the high yield of hard liners being re elected as a result of traditional districts being established. This has led to a wide deficit in the lack of senior party leaders who can establish and comprehensively support cross-party compromises (Steinhauer, 2008).
Issues pertaining to the California State budget have been spiraling out of control in recent years. Deficit in this budget has been growing and suggestions have been put forward to mitigate such effects. Program deferrals; and/ or, cuts, and/ or, supplementary taxes which require a two thirds majority to pass for implementation. The Republicans propose to keep taxes at a minimum while the Democrats choose not to compromise on reduction to children services, underprivileged citizens especially the elderly to attain a balance for the State budget (Steinhauer, 2008). A large part of the budget is corrected through statutory means or the State judicial process. In 2008, a compromise was reached to meet the budgetary needs but three months late with the unresolved structural deficit issues deferred to 2009.
Problems continued well into the last months of 2008 with construction budgets being foreseen to be hard hit with deficits rising to a staggering forty two billion dollars through to third quarter of 2010. Liquidity of the State of California budget have also been hit hard tending to press a severe impact on social issues such as public safety, and healthcare (Steinhauer, 2008).
For the politicians, traditional district ensure little change in voter dissatisfaction with Republicans holding on to hard line stances, with Democrats and Republicans deviating from party policies being sidelined or voted out in preliminaries (York, 2011). To cure these recurrent politically instigated stalemates at the expense of the California population development goals and the environment, the mandate of the state office to be tasked with drawing up new district boundaries should be repealed and handed over to a committee select team through appropriate nomination and selection processes.
Abortion in the state of California is a widespread occurrence with a third of women aborting before their mid forties. Senator Barbara, has taken a tough stance denouncing abortion on every conceivable platform, having voted for Acts paving the way for women to be free to opt for abortion as they may prefer. Women practicing unprotected coitus disregarding use of contraceptives account for more than fifty percent of all reported abortions. In the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling the Supreme Court legalized abortion and in 1992, upheld abortion as a basic right in the Planned Parenthood vs. Casey ruling. Barbara Boxer is a pro abortion activist (Guttmacher Institute, 2011). Abortion in my view is due to women’s unethical behaviors and should be controlled where possible as the only human way to deal with imperfection in life’s perpetual crisis.
Legalizing abortion has had adverse effects on social and economic development. Trauma associated with abortion, cost of having an abortion fatalities during or after abortion procedures, fatalities, misuse of state funds which could otherwise been used for social awareness on this vice. Proper restructuring of the education system to promote sex education is a remedy suited to curb this prevalent indignity.
It is estimated that to set up four wind power turbines a square mile is estimated and that eighteen thousand are needed for California to attain the required 33% green energy initiative. This translates to 1250 square miles of turbines. These turbines require areas with wind forces sufficient to sustained generation (Lusvardi, 2011). The land cost for such energy requirements is quite staggering. What are required are green initiatives that cut on energy losses and sufficient budget allocation on green energy on a very specialized level to gain more energy from turbines basically economical for home use cutting on expenditures of such large scale costs and given energy losses on such huge power transmission. Barbara Boxer supports these initiatives because the offer significant improvements in the environment. Unrenewable is costs to the environment all the way from damaging the environment, adversely affecting ecosystem, displacing entire communities and their cultures and massive pollution wherever it is used. This is a positive stand that she addresses and I support similar initiatives towards a greener environment and fresh air.
A Biography. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Retrieved on 26 Feb. 2011 from, http://boxer.senate.gov/en/senator/biography.cfm
Brody, Seymour. Barbara Boxer.1996. Retrieved on 26 Feb. 2011 from, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Boxer.html
Guttmacher Institute. State Facts about Abortion: CALIFORNIA. 2011. Retrieved on 26 Feb. 2011 from, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/california.html
Lusvardi, W. CA’s Wind Power Scam. Cal Watchdog. 2/19/11. Retrieved on 26 Feb. 2011 from, http://capoliticalnews.com/blog_post/show/7816
Steinhauer, J. California Embroiled in a Battle over the Budget. August 14, 2008. Retrieved on 26 Feb. 2011 from, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/us/15calif.html?_r=1&em
York, A. Calif. redistricting plan faces hurdles. 5/7/08. Retrieved on 26 Feb. 2011 from, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10163.html