[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 7 (Wednesday, January 19, 2011)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E71]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. LYNN C. WOOLSEY

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, January 19, 2011

  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor my long-time friend, 
California State Senator Patricia Wiggins, who recently retired after a 
long and effective career in public service. From her first years in 
Sonoma County politics in the 1980s through her terms in the California 
legislature as an Assemblymember and a Senator, Pat Wiggins was a 
leader of vision and compassion.
  Born and raised in Southern California, Pat grew up in a labor 
household and, with her father's training, was an accomplished 
parachutist. At the age of 38, she became the first in her family to 
graduate from college, earning an English degree with honors from UCLA. 
She worked as a systems analyst and, in 1979, met a software engineer, 
Guy Conner, her future husband. They have two stepsons, Jim and Steve 
Silverman, and four grandchildren.
  Wiggins' first political job was with the Nuclear Freeze in 1982. 
After the couple moved to Santa Rosa, California, in 1984, she worked 
on several political campaigns and eventually became involved in local 
land use issues when trail access to Annadel State Park was threatened 
by development. She was a leader in Santa Rosa's growing liberal 
environmentalism, and an activist in supporting women and women's 
issues. In 1994, she was elected to the Santa Rosa City Council.
  In 1998, she was elected to the California Assembly and in 2006 to 
the California Senate. As a State legislator, Pat continued to 
demonstrate leadership in environmental and social issues. In the 
Assembly she founded the legislature's Smart Growth Caucus and authored 
laws on land use planning and compact development (including social 
equity). In the Senate, she focused on a broad range of issues 
including agriculture, youth employment, land use, political reform, 
health care, veterans' affairs, waste reduction, working families, and 
education. In 2008, she had the most bills approved by the legislature 
and the most signed into law of anyone in the California legislature.
  Guy Conner, her husband and political partner for many years, 
describes Pat Wiggins as ``the finest grass roots politician'' he has 
ever known. She inspired many of us in Sonoma County by demonstrating 
how a leader works collaboratively for an impressive record of 
accomplishments while maintaining a commitment to progressive values.
  Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Senator Patricia Wiggins on her many 
successful years in public service and wish her luck in her retirement. 
Her voice will be missed in Sacramento.