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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
California State Government March 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Gail K. Lightfoot

Candidate for
United States Senator; Libertarian Party

This information is provided by the candidate

I was born in Venice, CA in 1937. My father was a lifeguard and commercial fisherman who joined the Navy during WWII. When he returned in 1946, we spent a few months in Avalon on Catalina Island and then moved, in 1947, to Kodiak, Alaska. I returned to Los Angeles in 1952 when I was 16. After high school in El Segundo and Torrance, I went to the Los Angeles County Hospital School of Nursing.

I have a diploma in nursing, my RN license and a PHN (Public Health Nurse) certificate as well as numerous certificates in high tech procedures. I took a number of college classes between 1959 and 1979, switching to Early Childhood Education towards the end. I had hopes of becoming a Montessori teacher at one time, but choose to remain in nursing working in Home Care. My college classes also include political science.

For nearly forty years I worked as a nurse:Emergency Room nurse, MICU certified to instruct paramedics; ICU nurse (I taught Intensive Care nursing );Cardiac Care nurse (I was in the first ever class of CC nursing at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles); Clinical nurse. I also worked as a drug rehabilitation evaluation nurse, public health nurse (I taught that too), and did utilization review for insurance companies.

I've been married three times. I have three children and six grandchildren: Martha, Cheri, Maggie, Alex, Michael and Heather (and a step grandson, Bradley makes 7). My present husband, Richard Venable, also has three children from previous marriages, plus 7 grand kids and 4 great grand children.

We live in Arroyo Grande in the Five Cities (which includes Pismo Beach) area of San Luis Obispo County, but we spend a lot of time visiting family.

More about why I care about Education.

As a child, I received an excellent academic education, especially in Kodiak, where John Dewey's progressive education changes had not reached in 1952. When my family moved back to LA, I noticed my younger siblings did not get as good an education as I had.

When I had my 3 children in the 1960's. I had to send my two older children to public schools, and they did poorly in them. I sent my younger daughter to a Montessori school, because they allowed her to learn at her own pace and to develop initiative and self-confidence. She became a Montessori teacher herself and has her child in the school where she teaches.

The rest of my grandchildren go to public schools, which use materials so watered down and biased, I cannot stand to read them. Only one of them enjoys getting good grades. Meanwhile, the four year old in the Montessori School is learning to write (which comes first), read, add, subtract, multipy and divide numbers. Learning excites her!

How I become a Libertarian

I began reading Ayn Rand in 1950. In 1964, I walked pecincts for Barry Goldwater and attended the Nathaniel Branden Institute series on Objectivism. I subscribed to the Ayn Rand Letter and The Objectivists Newsletter. In 1966, I was given copies of all of Ayn Rand's books and read "Anthem," my favorite, for the first time.

In 1972, I received LP membership information and joined as a charter member. I joined the Libertarian Party of California (LPC) when it formed that same year. I've been a registered Libertarian ever since.

I was a member of the LPC Executive Committee from 1980-1991 and again in 1993-1996. I twice served as LPC Chair. One of my goals was to be the person to announce the California votes at the LP nominating convention. I did that on national television in 1996. I'm there on the videotapes of two conventions - and those videos will be there for my great-great-grandchildren to see that I did what I could to restore liberty in the U.S. In addition, I believe that I did a good job building the Party and encouraging activism. I was always open to new ideas and never failed to listen to newcomers. During my term, we also provided a virtual office for the Party in two locations during a hectic election year. I have run statewide 3 times before. I do this for my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

As the only announced candidate for US Senate, I introduced one of the candidates for the LP nomination to run for President in 2004 for the C-SPAN cameras in Feb 2003.

I am currently Chair of the San Luis Obispo LP County Central Committee and the Producer/Host of Why Liberty Matters on SLO public access on Charter Cable Channel 2 in San Luis Obispo County.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: February 17, 2004 14:13
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