This year marks my 21st in public office, including 11 years in the Legislature. But Sacramento is not my home and politics not how I planned to spend my life. Though I enjoyed my job as a lawmaker, my first love is the administration of justice. I will leave the Legislature this year at the end of my term to return to my private law practice.
I am immeasurably grateful for the faith, trust and support of our great community and the hard work of my dedicated staff.
Together, we wrote the nation's first Homeowner's Bill of Rights, improved our foster care system, protected the coast, kept state parks open, updated regulation of California's wine industry, preserved CEQA as the cornerstone of California's environmental protection laws, and much more.
I chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, working to strengthen consumer and privacy protection and keep our courthouses open in the face of massive budget cuts. I also chaired the Legislative Women's Caucus, advocating for the interests of women and children.
When California faced economic meltdown, as Chair of the Budget Committee I prevented the worst of many attempts to shut down public services. After several difficult years, I am confident the state is now moving in the right direction under Governor Brown's leadership, with a strong Democratic majority in each house.
As I return to private practice, I will continue to be a strong advocate for progressive values, working families, equal protection and justice for all.
We have seen California through unprecedented challenges. I hope my efforts over the past two decades have contributed in some small measure to a better future for us all.