Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
A TRIBUTE TO JANE BAKER
(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 since. 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 service. ____________________