This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Solano Counties, CA September 1, 2009 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for John Garamendi

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 10

This information is provided by the candidate

Lieutenant Governor of California

On January 8, 2007, John Garamendi became the 46th Lieutenant Governor of California, bringing to the office more than 32 years of public service. He is committed to building the Lieutenant Governor's office into a powerful advocate for families and hard-working Californians, improving higher education, health care, and the environment, and boosting job creation. The Lieutenant Governor of California is tasked with addressing many issues of utmost importance to our Golden State, including higher education, the environment, and economic development. The Lieutenant Governor is the President of the State Senate, a regent of the University California, a Trustee of the California State University system, a member of the California State Lands Commission, and the Chairman of the California Commission for Economic Development. In addition, he also serves as Acting Governor whenever the Governor leaves the state or is unable to serve.

California Insurance Commissioner

In 2002, more than a decade after selecting him California's first elected Insurance Commissioner, California voters again chose John Garamendi to lead the Department of Insurance and continue his mission to build the best protection agency in the nation. As California's first elected Insurance Commissioner, Garamendi earned a reputation among state and national consumer organizations as the most effective protector of consumer interests in the nation. He successfully forced insurance companies to honor their commitments to consumers. He reduced homeowner, auto, and worker compensation rates, and significantly curtailed insurance fraud.

Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

Following President Clinton's appointment, Garamendi was confirmed by the US Senate and sworn into office on August 15, 1995, as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. As second in command, he and Secretary Babbitt formulated and coordinated the policy and strategy for the Interior's eight bureaus. Garamendi quickly became the Department's trouble shooter. Headwaters: Garamendi was the government's lead negotiator in the effort to save Headwater's, a 7,500 acre ancient redwood forest in California, and bring to an end the decade long battle between the Pacific Lumber Company and the environmental community. Endangered Species: Garamendi brought the Riverside Habit Conservation Plan to successful closure after it floundered for ten years. The Riverside plan, which protects 66,000 acres of rare habitat in the rapidly urbanizing region, has became a national model. Water Wars: Garamendi tackled the complex and heated California water wars. The "Garamendi process," a conflict resolution procedure, forced the cities, farmers, fishing industry, and environmental community to negotiate a resolution to the conflict over implementation of the Central Valley Improvement Act. Garamendi also led the U.S. government's negotiations in the on-going Bay/Delta program. This program seeks to restore the environment of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and their delta, while providing for improved water supply and quality for farmers and California's rapidly growing cities. Guam: Garamendi was appointed by President Clinton to be the Special U.S. Negotiator to resolve the long-standing issue of the status of the Island of Guam, a U.S. Territory. In this role he conducted two years of talks with the Guam government in an effort to settle the disputes on the nature of the island's relationship to the United States. Tourism and Travel: He also lead the Interior Department's tourism initiative to integrate the many natural, historic, and cultural resources within the department into the tourism and recreation sector of the economy, fulfilling the goals of the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. Interior's Workforce: Garamendi created and implemented the Department-wide program to improve opportunities for minorities and women within the Department. His diversity task force developed the strategic plan, and he oversaw its implementation in the eight bureaus and 70,000 person workforce.

State Senator and Member of the Assembly

During his 14 years as a State Senator and two years in the Assembly, Garamendi chaired the Joint Committee on Science and Technology, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, and served as the Senate Majority Leader. His laws protected Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake. He wrote laws that reformed health care delivery, established a work oriented welfare program, revised the State's tax code, and developed a State agenda for economic competitiveness and scientific advancement. His ballot proposition provided $18 billion for mass transportation and highways.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Mission for Peace in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Congo Wars

As returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Ethiopia, John and Patti were distraught when war broke out between Ethiopia and its former province, Eritrea. In 1998 John organized a team of five returned volunteers who undertook a two-year mission to assist in securing peace. The team traveled to both countries to meet with the Ambassadors, Foreign Ministers, and the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea. The team also met with President Clinton and top U.S. officials. In the fall of 2001, the team conducted numerous meetings in America with expatriate groups from both countries, helping them to reconcile their differences and urging them to send the message of peace to their homeland. The team was invited to the Peace Signing Ceremony in Algiers at which time both leaders praised the team for its work and the key role that it had in the peace process. Building on that success, John has formed a new team that is actively engaged in negotiating a peace settlement in the Congo Civil War.

They have six children and nine grandchildren. They make their home in California. Patti and John began their 30 years of public service as Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia. Patti was appointed by President Clinton to be Associate Director of the Peace Corps and Deputy Administrator in the Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service. Atfer serving with the Peace Corps, Patti was Assistant Secretary of International Trade and Investment to the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency. Currently, Patti is the Assistant Manager of Programs for the California Exposition & State Fair. John Garamendi was born in 1945, raised on his family's California cattle ranch. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelors Degree in Business from the University of California. He was an outstanding scholar-athlete in college, where he was a second team All-American offensive guard in football, a two-time member of the All-Pacific Coast Conference team, and the 1964 West Coast heavyweight wrestling champion.

Boards and Commissions

  • University of California, Regent (2007-current): One of the 26 members of the Board of Regents. The Board of Regents operates through eight committees: audit, compensation, educational policy, finance, grounds and buildings, health services, investments, and oversight of the Department of Energy laboratories to govern the ten UC campuses across California.

  • California State University, Trustee (2007-current): Governs 23 CSU campuses. Lieutenant Governor Garamendi has demanded transparency on executive compensation, opposed increases in student fees and tuition, and demanded a fair contract for CSU faculty. He started a "Listening Tour" Program to better understand the role education system plays in preparing California 's future workforce, through a series of town hall meetings on all CSU campuses.

  • Commission for Economic Development, Chair(2007-current): Oversees and directs Commission responsible for fostering economic growth in California . Helps develop and implement strategies for attracting new business to the state, increasing state exports, creating new jobs and stimulating industries statewide.

  • California Emergency Council (2007-current): Member of the Council that is briefed on all current needs and matters regarding emergency preparedness and administrative matters that require action by the Governor.

  • Ocean Protection Council (2007-current): Member of Council that coordinates efforts to improve protection of California's ocean and coastal resources.

  • State Lands Commission, Chair and Member (2007-current): This three-member commission issues permits, monitors and regulates all of the State's land holdings and navigable waterways. The Lieutenant Governor and the Controller serve as Chair in alternating years. The Lieutenant Governor began his term as Chair in 2007.

  • University of California, Don Bren School of Management, Advisory Board (1998-present): Member of the board that advises the graduate school, located on five U.C. campuses.

  • University of California, Merced Foundation Chairman (1999-present): As a board member and vice chair, Mr. Garamendi is active in assisting the new campus in its development of physical and financial resources.

  • National Park Foundation (1998-2001): Presidential appointment to the board of this Congressionally authorized support organization for the National Parks.

  • Operation Respect (1998-2002): Board Member of this national organization that Peter Yarrow (Peter Paul and Mary) established to use music and art together with an elementary school curriculum of social/emotional education to address violence, bullying, taunting and disrespect among children.

  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (1998-present): Board Member of the foundation of a worldwide organization dedicated to the conservation and care of animals.

  • National Association of Service and Conservation Corps (1998-2001): Board member of thisnational organization that represents 100 state and local service and conservation corps.

  • Natural Heritage Institute (1998-2002): Board member of the non-profit environmental consulting organization that advocates protection of the environment and equitable solutions to complex environmental problems.

  • California State Summer School for the Arts: Board Member of the public/private organization that provides a four-week summer program for artistically gifted high school students in California .

Next Page: Additional Endorsements

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
September 2009 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.
Created from information supplied by the candidate: August 14, 2009 10:16
Smart Voter   <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund