California Governor Jerry Brown
Edmund G. Brown Jr., referred to as Jerry, was born in San Fransisco on April 7, 1938. He received his B.A. in Classics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961 and then graduated from Yale Law School in 1964. In June of 2005 Brown married Anne Gust, which was the first marriage for both.
After his graduation from Yale Law School, Brown served at the California Supreme Court as a law clerk. He then began working for Tuttle and Taylor, a prestigious law firm. He was elected to represent on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees in 1969. He was then elected as California Secretary of the State in 1970. Brown was elected as governor and then reelected in 1974 and 1978, respectively.
Under Brown’s political expertise, 1.9 million jobs have been created. He eliminated small businesses’ capital gains taxes, focused time and energy on energy efficiency standards, and slowed the growth of state government. He also invested in the education of Californian high school students, enacting legislation that necessitates proof of basic learning proficiency before graduating. Funding for colleges, both higher education and community schools, has doubled during his service.
Brown also took a stand against crime in California. He enacted over a hundred anti-crime laws, including the “Use a Gun Go to Prison” law. He created legislation requiring sentences regarding rape, molestation, heroin, PCP, and crimes against the elderly. He also established and funded different foundations, including the Career Criminal Apprehension Program, the Career Criminal Prosecution Program, and the Crime Resistance Task Force.
A key political issue that Brown has faced while serving in office followed the California Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriage. Brown refused to defend Proposition 8, a measure that put gay and lesbian marriages on hold. This issue was taken to court multiple times and in 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California stated that Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.