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California State Government June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Debra Bowen

Candidate for
Secretary of State; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

Ever since Senator Debra Bowen was first elected to the State Legislature in 1992, she has been a pioneer in government reform, consumer protection and privacy rights, environmental conservation, and open government. She also is a leading women's advocate, fighting for equality in the workplace and in government, childcare, health care and civil rights.

Born in Rockford, Illinois, Bowen graduated from Michigan State University in 1976 and earned her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1979. In 1984, she started her own California law firm specializing in small business start-ups, tax law, land use, and environmental issues, while her long history of community activism began when she got involved with her local Neighborhood Watch program.

Senator Bowen was elected to represent the 53rd Assembly District in 1992 and was re-elected in 1994 and 1996 before being elected to represent the 28th Senate District in 1998. Bowen was re-elected to her second and final four-year Senate term in 2002, representing the 28th District which stretches from Venice in the north, down the coast to Redondo Beach, then east to include all or parts of Carson, San Pedro, Long Beach, and Wilmington.

Senator Bowen has earned attention in the media throughout the state as an effective and independent voice for reform, open government and consumer advocacy. She was the first California lawmaker to be accessible through her own state e-mail address, the first to put up her own government web page, and the first to put her campaign finance reports on the web.

During her time in office, Senator Bowen has focused her attention on:

  • Restoring confidence In California's electoral process: her bill SB 370 (2205) was recently signed into law and requires that all election results be audited using the paper trail produced by electronic voting machines. Early in her career, she also introduced legislation, which later became law, allowing people to become permanent absentee voters.

  • Opening government to the people: Bowen's AB 1624 (1993) unlocked the Legislature's computer files and has given computer users Internet access to information about bills, committee analyses and legislators' voting records.

  • Helping Californians protect their privacy: Bowen's landmark, first-in-the-nation SB 168 (2001) makes it much more difficult for criminals to commit identity theft.

Senator Bowen is the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee and she also serves on the Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee; the Government Modernization, Efficiency & Accountability Committee; the Natural Resources & Water Committee; the Revenue & Taxation Committee and the Rules Committee.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 24, 2006 18:09
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