NAME: Marian Bergeson
HOMETOWN: Newport Beach
PROFESSION: Fmr. State Assemblywoman; Fmr. State Senator; Fmr. Orange County Supervisor; Fmr. State Secretary of Education; Fmr member, CA Transportation Commission
Hello my name is Marian Bergeson, and my hope is we concentrate on the future by moving forward—reviving the basic values that made our nation great—a strong work ethic, individual responsibility and initiative for new creative solutions.
Marian Bergeson doesn’t just sit around and wait for things to get done. She gets involved.
“Knowledge is power, and power facilitates solving problems,” said Bergeson.
Bergeson was a school teacher, a school board member and a city council member in Newport Beach. Then in 1978 she was elected to the California State Assembly’s 74th district. In 1984, she made history by winning the 37th district state senate seat—the first woman ever to serve in both the State Assembly and State Senate.
“I wanted to be involved in the issues. It became exciting to me that we as elected leaders could protect and control the planning and implementation of policies,” Bergeson said.
Her life as a public servant didn’t end there. After ending her run in the state Legislature in 1995, she became a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors for a year. She then spent three years as the state Secretary of Education, and was appointed to the state Transportation Commission until 2008.
Education was and still is important to Bergeson. “Education has to accommodate students and prepare them for the working world. This means we have to attract and retain teachers to inspire and motivate students to become leaders.”
Bergeson believes our state is in disarray, and she blames our elected leaders for not working collaboratively.
“We have to rethink how our government delivers services. They must be held accountable for their expenditures, and they must be transparent.” But it’s up to the individual to become civically involved. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
She says it will take some time to make California great again, but our greatest strength is the “hope people have that things will improve with the involvement, ingenuity, creativity and spirit that we can bring about.”