One of California’s longest serving, vocal, Democratic giants has bowed out of the 2014 campaign, opting to retire from politics.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer recently announced that at the end of his term he will step down after what will be a 46 year career.
“It’s tough to leave a career I have loved,” said Lockyer.
“I’ve never felt anything but honored and privileged to serve my community and this state. But it’s time to make the break and explore other opportunities.”
Lockyer, a Democrat, has a long political career dating back to 1960 when he founded the U.C. Berkley Student Democrats. From there he served as Chairman of the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee. He was elected board member of the San Leandro Unified School District in 1968 and held office until 1973.
That same year, he won a special election to represent the 14th Assembly District where he served 25 years. He moved to the Senate in 1982 where he was elected to the 10th District. He topped off his legislative career as President Pro Tem of the Senate from 1994-1998.
Lockyer’s political career continued as Attorney General from 1998 to 2006. Then in 2006 he became State Treasurer.
Over the years, he has been known for his brutal honesty, legislative skill and passion.
In the legislature, he made government better and life easier for Californians by authoring laws like one which relieved citizens of jury duty for the year if they don’t get picked for a trial panel on their first day of service. He transformed an inefficient trail court system by merging two separate courts—municipal and superior—into a single superior court in all 58 counties.
As State Treasurer, amongst many things, he sponsored legislation that allowed local governments to escape skyrocketing interest rates on bonds.
“I have tried my best to make government work better for people, to solve real problems with hard work and common sense. I especially loved the challenge of tackling emerging issues and being the first to go down a policymaking path.”
“I’m not abandoning the political or public policy arena. I will remain engaged. I will continue fighting for good public policy and the principles I’ve always tried to defend,” said Lockyer.
California Forward recently caught up with the State Treasurer at the Silicon Valley Regional Economic forum. He offered his thoughts on more transparency and accountability in financial dealings as well as his latest project to help prevent cities from bankruptcy.