Election Night 2010



This is a win for San Luis Obispo. Jan will serve effectively and humanely. She has the talent, the experience and the dedication to do an excellent job as mayor, leading and representing the City”which according to last month’s newspapers is both the most desirable place to live in America and is about to fall off a cliff. Either way, it will benefit from her leadership.

It’s a win for her, because it provides the opportunity to fulfill not an ambition, but an ongoing mission of public service and leadership. When I first met her 44 years ago as a junior at Stanford, she organized a campaign to get women equal rights with men to live off campus at much cheaper rents than those in the dormitory. This involved facing down the President of the University who wasn’t eager to lose the revenue provided by the policy of protecting female purity.

When we lived in the wilds of British Columbia during the 1970’s, she helped found a satellite campus of a community college and became its first director. When we moved back to California, she got a job as Director of Graduate Student Housing at Stanford and devised a network of neighborhood coordinators”now called Community Associates–which still remains vital.
While attending Law School, she organized the mature returning students and then took a part-time job as a law clerk involving the preparation of a landmark Supreme Court case assuring equal opportunity for women in the workplace.

When we moved to San Luis Obispo 22 years ago, she immediately embarked on a course of public service that led to appointment to the County Parks and City Planning Commissions and to her election to City Council in 1998 and again 2008. All of her political and humanitarian work in this place has been volunteer or for minimal pay, for she’s been able to make her living as an attorney.

The mayor’s job will allow her to use and expand abilities cultivated over a lifetime.

It’s a win for me, not only for the reflected glory”imagine the pleasure I’ve taken in knocking on thousands of doors and telling whoever opens them about the virtues of the woman I love, and in posting hundreds of signs of tribute to her all over town. But also imagine what it would be like to live with someone this energetic and smart whose time was not occupied being in charge of a whole city.

So here’s to our new mayor, and to this fleeting moment of triumph, and to all of you who contributed in one way or another to make it happen.

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