(Extensions of Remarks - May 05, 2004)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E752-E753]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                        A TRIBUTE TO JANE BAKER


                            HON. TOM LANTOS

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Wednesday, May 5, 2004

  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, it is with great honor and pride that I pay 
tribute to an extraordinary woman, Jane Baker. For the past twenty 
years Jane has been an inspiration to those who wish to make positive 
change in their communities, as she has dedicated herself to serving 
both San Mateo city and County, located in my congressional district, 
through the various public service positions she held.
  Jane Baker was born in Hamilton, Ohio, and after graduating from 
Purdue University, she

[[Page E753]]

and her husband Bill moved to San Francisco. Shortly after moving to 
California, Jane hosted and produced a television cooking-show that 
aired in San Francisco and San Jose, where she demonstrated easy meals 
that one could make on an average night for the average family. By 
1963, the Bakers had settled in San Mateo, where they have resided ever 
  Mr. Speaker, Jane had always participated in community events, being 
very active in her local Parents Teacher Association (PTA) and the Girl 
and Boy Scouts. Her commitment to save open space on Sugarloaf Mountain 
in San Mateo from overdevelopment prompted her to run for the San Mateo 
City Council in 1973. Her historic victory, at that time only the 
second woman ever elected to a City Council seat, was made more 
dramatic by the fact that she captured more votes than two male 
incumbents. Jane's traditional smashing ways continued when she became 
the first-ever female mayor of the city of San Mateo. During the twenty 
years that Jane Baker served on the San Mateo City Council she remained 
devoted to public service and although people encouraged her to run for 
higher offices, such as State Senate and Congress, Jane declined 
because she recognized the value of local government and the closer 
relationship to the public that comes with it.
  Jane Baker's commitment to community service did not merely stop at 
being an elected official, as her drive and energy led her to serve on 
many boards and commissions. The number of boards and commissions that 
Jane served on is incredible. She represented the cities of San Mateo 
on the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission and served as 
Chair from 1993 to 1995. Jane also chaired the San Mateo County 
Transportation Authority for two years and was a member of the Joint 
Powers Board-CALTRAIN. Additionally, she served on the Association of 
Bay Area Governments for ten years, from 1975 to 1985.
  In addition to her dedication to local government service, Jane was 
an active member of various statewide and national organizations. The 
litany of those organizations is too large to list in its entirety, but 
includes; the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities, the 
State Job Training Coordinating Council, the American Association of 
University Women, California Elected Women for Education and the 
Women's Association of the First Presbyterian Church of San Mateo.
  As one would expect, Jane Baker has been honored for her numerous 
achievements by many of the organizations, including being named Safety 
Woman of the Year by the San Mateo Safety Council. She was also chosen 
as an Outstanding Graduate by the Purdue University School of Consumer 
and Family Services and inducted into the San Mateo County Women's Hall 
of Fame in 1999.
  Mr. Speaker, Jane Baker was often hailed as a maverick mayor because 
she wasn't afraid to speak her mind. In an era where women were often 
seen and not heard in City Hall Jane helped shatter the glass ceiling. 
A true pioneer for women's rights, Jane Baker has diligently served San 
Mateo for over 20 years. I know that I will not be the only one to miss 
her presence in our city government. I extend my very best wishes to 
her and hope she finds the future as rewarding as her years of public