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Los Angeles, Orange County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Debbie Cook

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 46

This information is provided by the candidate

It Starts With Family

Debbie Cook was born on Jan. 22, 1954 in Corpus Christi, Texas, during her father's final months of active duty in the U.S. Navy. Her grandfather, an Episcopal minister, baptized Debbie, just as he had baptized her sister and four brothers.

The family eventually moved to Cincinnati where Debbie's lifelong love of nature was born. Tagging along with her father, a Boy Scout Leader, she discovered the joys of the great outdoors. Debbie's brothers earned three Eagle Scout badges and later two of them followed their father into military service.

Her family moved to California in 1966 where Debbie attended Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach. The summer after graduation, she attended Outward Bound School, earned a student pilot's license and climbed Mt. Whitney. While studying Earth Science at Long Beach State, she worked part-time, played on the women's volleyball and swim teams, and as a member of the relay team, qualified for the NCAA Swimming Championships.

She met her husband John Fisher in a co-ed volleyball class and in 1975, they were married in Palos Verdes. After their son Jonathan was born, they settled in Westminster where Debbie became active in the community, serving as PTO President at Vista View School in Fountain Valley and as a Red Cross volunteer. In 1986, the family moved to Huntington Beach where Debbie continued volunteering as a volleyball coach and in the Orange Coast College Horticulture Department.

Building a Business

In 1978, Debbie started an office equipment business where she worked for 14 years, building a successful network of dealers throughout California. She even invented and patented a cost-saving component for an office shelving system. Her experience has given her a deep respect for the hard work of small business owners.

Protecting a Community

In 1989, Debbie became alarmed at two development projects proposed on public park and beach property. One would have turned 100 acres of Huntington Beach Central Park into a golf course and the other would have placed four restaurants on the beach south of the HB pier. Meeting in her living room, Debbie lead the effort to place a measure on the ballot to give voters the final say in development of public parks and beaches. Gathering 18,000 signatures and the hearts of the community, voters approved the measure by a three-to-one margin.

During the campaign, politicians and the California Coastal Commission approved the beachfront development prior to the vote. Facing long odds, Debbie challenged the commission's decision. Her persistence paid off and the Coastal Commission rejected the plan.

At 37, on the heels of two victories, Debbie went to law school, earning a degree from Western State University and joining the California bar in 1994. She then served for five years on the Bolsa Chica legal team whose efforts resulted in protections for sensitive habitat at Bolsa Chica and throughout California.

Leading a City

Debbie was elected to the Huntington Beach City Council in 2000, and reelected overwhelmingly in 2004. She is currently Huntington Beach's Mayor, a position she also held in 2002.

As an elected official, Debbie has continued to demonstrate her leadership skills, fighting the Orange County Sanitation District's massive dumping of partially treated wastewater into the ocean, exposing political corruption, challenging fiscal imprudence, and leading the City in developing sustainable energy and building programs.

Debbie is also an internationally respected expert on energy, serving on the board of directors of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas and travels around the country educating the public and elected officials on our nation's energy vulnerabilities.

Congress Needs Leaders Like Debbie

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: July 31, 2008 13:21
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