Friday, December 31, 2010
Governor Appoints Yvonne Burke to Transportation Panel
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said yesterday he was appointing Yvonne Burke, a former county supervisor and partner at Jones Day, to the California Transportation Commission.
The governor praised Burke’s “long and impressive history of public service” in a release, and predicted her experience “will provide her the foresight and knowledge to serve effectively” on the commission, which is charged with allocating funds for the construction of highway, passenger rail and transit improvements throughout the state.
This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem.
Burke, 78, served as a Los Angeles supervisor for the Second District from 1992 to 2008.
She was the first black woman ever elected to the State Assembly, where she served from 1967 until she was elected to Congress in 1972—becoming the first woman elected to the House from California in 20 years and the first black California congresswoman ever.
In 1978 she launched a campaign to become state attorney general, and defeated Burt Pines, now a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, for the Democratic nomination but lost the general election to George Deukmejian.
She was subsequently appointed supervisor from the Fourth District by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, but lost her bid to retain the office in 1980. She then entered private practice as an attorney.
She was a partner with Burke Robinson and Pearman from 1982 to 1987. and spent a decade as a partner in the Los Angeles office of Cleveland’s Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue (now Jones Day).
Burke completed her legal education at USC after graduating from UCLA. She was admitted to the State Bar in 1956. She was honored by the MetNews as its Person of the Year for 2003.
The governor also yesterday announced the appointments of San Francisco attorney David Crane to the University of California Board of Regents, onetime California State Teachers’ Retirement System staff attorney Howard Schmidt to the Sacramento County Fair Board of Directors, and Steven Kram to the CalSTRS board.
Crane, a Democrat, has served as special advisor to the Governor for jobs and economic growth since 2004 and has been a board member of the California High Speed Rail Authority and the Commission on Economic Development since 2007.
Schwarzenegger remarked that Crane’s “contributions during his time in my administration have shown his commitment to doing everything he can to make California great,” and predicted that Crane “will devote the energy, tenacity and creativity needed to keep the University of California the finest public university system in the world” as a member of the Board of Regents.
Crane said he was “honored” by his appointment and that he was “look[ing] forward to working with the Regents to ensure access to a high quality and affordable education for California’s students.”
He attended University of Michigan and UC Hastings College of the Law before joining the State Bar in 1980. Crane has been registered as inactive since 1985.
Crane is a former partner with the financial advisory firm of Babcock & Brown, where he worked from 1979 until 2003. He is a board member of the David and Carla Crane Foundation, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and Building America’s Future and an advisory trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Schmidt, 55, has served as chief of staff for Sacramento Supervisor Susan Peters since 2005. Prior to that, Schmidt served as staff counsel III for CalSTRS from 1994 to 2005 and a trial attorney for the Unites States Department of Labor, Solicitor’s Office from 1991 to 1994.
Previously, he served as emergency management specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1984 to 1990 and deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Deane Dana, since deceased, from 1980 to 1982. His appointment does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary.
Schmidt is a Republican.
Kram, 54, of Los Angeles, co-founded Content Partners and has served as president and chief executive officer since 2005. The company invests in entertainment projects. He is a member of the New York bar.
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