council welcomes senator boxer during ca farewell tour

Making a stop at the Bay Area Council on a California farewell tour ahead of her retirement later this year, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer Thursday (Aug. 31) sat down with Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman for a conversation about the current legislative session and to share a few fun insider stories about her 40 years of public service. Boxer expressed cautious optimism that Congress would act this year on federal water legislation the Council supports. She talked about the need for investment in transportation and other vital infrastructure. And, she said that getting results (i.e. funding) from D.C. involves learning what programs are available to provide money and getting out ahead of them with local projects that advance the goals of those programs. “Start doing some projects on your own and showing federal officials you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it,” Boxer said, and the funding will follow. Wunderman thanked Boxer for always making time to meet with the Council during its annual D.C. advocacy trip and for providing practical advice and direction on issues.

Boxer frequently referred to her new memoir – The Art of Tough – and how she learned from political veterans like Phil Burton and Bill Clinton to stand firm for your principles while remaining open to dialogue and compromise. “Don’t make disagreements personal,” she said. Boxer recalled a private conversation with a little-known black senator from Illinois who asked her what she thought of his strong interest in running for President. Boxer says she told Barack Obama he would be crazy to take on Hillary Clinton, but that if he believed it was his time, he had no choice but to run. Coming to the meeting from a visit to UC Berkeley, Boxer said she had just announced she is donating her archives to the Bancroft Library. And while she hasn’t settled on exactly what her post-retirement plans are, Boxer said she would likely do some teaching and was exploring creating a lecture series. The Council extends its deepest gratitude and appreciation to Senator Boxer for her four decades of public service. To engage in the Council’s federal government relations work, please contact Senior Advisor George Broder.

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