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Carol Liu is the State Senator from the 25th District, which includes Sunland/Tujunga, Atwater Village, and the Griffith Park areas of the city of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose, La Canada, Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, and Upland.
Born into a family that has lived the California dream, both old and new:
A fifth-generation Californian on her mother’s side,Carol Liu is also the daughter of an immigrant: her father emigrated from China before World War II. Born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, she attended public schools and graduated from San Jose State College.
A successful career in public education:
Carol continued her education at the U.C. Berkeley School of Education where she earned both a lifetime teaching credential and a credential in education administration. She was a teacher in the Richmond, California, public schools, teaching history at the Junior and Senior High level before becoming a school administrator.
Meeting her husband and raising a family:
Carol met her future husband, Michael Peevey, at an AFL-CIO convention while she was Executive Director of the Richmond Federation of Teachers. They married and moved to Southern California, where Mike had a long and successful career with Southern California Edison (SCE), followed by several successful business ventures. After he retired, Mike was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission and now serves as its President. Carol and Mike have three children and four grandchildren.
A lasting commitment to community service:
In Southern California, Carol quickly emerged as a community leader. Initially she focused on education and other issues affecting children, serving as a PTA President and as President of the Pasadena City College Foundation Board. But she soon became involved in a whole range of issues that affect quality of life, leading to her election to the La Canada Flintridge City Council, where she served for eight years, including two very successful terms as Mayor.
A record of achievement in the State Assembly:
Carol went on to run for State Assembly, winning a hard-fought Democratic primary and easily carrying the general election. A very popular Assemblywoman, she was re-elected twice more by ever-larger margins.
Many key pieces of legislation Carol authored during her six years in the Assembly were signed into law, including laws to promote career and technical education, protect public safety, prevent domestic violence, improve ground water quality, and deter gang activity. She was also well known for working with other legislators to update the state's master plan for education and for fighting to prevent off-shoring of jobs funded by state contracts.
Carol chaired a number of committees and caucuses during her Assembly tenure, including the Assembly Higher Education Committee, the Women's Legislative Caucus, the Select Committee on Groundwater Quality and Quantity, and the Select Committee on Adult Education.
While serving in the Assembly, Carol was recognized as Legislator of the Year by a number of organizations, including the National Organization for Women, the California School Boards Association, and the Foothill Unity Center.
Continued service after leaving the State Assembly
After leaving the State Assembly, Carol resumed her active schedule of teaching and community service. She taught at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and, with her reputation as a consensus builder and public policy expert, was asked to serve on a variety of boards and commissions. She was Chair of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education Advisory Board and served on a number of significant boards, including the Claremont University Consortium Board of Overseers, the UCLA School of Public Affairs Advisory Board, the San Gabriel Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, and the Pasadena Education Foundation Board.
The first Asian American woman ever elected to the California State Senate, Carol has continued to pursue her agenda to improve public education, increase access to higher education and to career and technical education, promote a sustainable environment and economic development, and preserve essential services for the elderly, low-income, disabled, and other at-risk populations. Carol's Senate Committee assignments include the Education Committee (chair), the Human Services Committee, the Governance and Finance Committee, the Public Safety Committee, the Transportation and Housing Committee, and the Joint Committee on the Arts.
Carol is also the Senate's appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Since taking office in the Senate, Carol has authored a number of measures that have been signed into law, including bills that improve community college student success, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect children and seniors.
Her legislative agenda also includes measures to: streamline the K-12 education governance process; improve school district and teacher effectiveness; expedite the education mandates reimbursement process; bring more transparency to higher education tuition deliberations and decisions; protect seniors from abuse; and improve delivery of services and continuity of care for the elderly.
Carol focuses her efforts in the District on facilitating access to information and services that improve quality of life. She hosted the highly successful Annual Women's Health Conference for ten years before expanding that program to reach more people with a wider variety of services and information. Her Pathways to Wellbeing and Economic Security Program (Pathways) aims to maximize the coordinated delivery of services to low-income and other disadvantaged populations including seniors, foster youth, the homeless, the disabled, victims of domestic violence, and veterans.
Carol has also established a networking and information exchange program to advance sustainability throughout the region -- Greening the 21st Century (GREEN21) -- by improving environmental quality and alternative transportation services and promoting green economic development and job creation. Her other collaborative and consensus building programs include roundtables for Foster Youth, Local Law Enforcement, and District and Teacher Effectiveness, and she co-hosts an annual Women in Business Awards luncheon with her overlapping district Assembly Members.
Honors and Awards
Carol has been well-recognized throughout her Legislative career for her leadership and public policy advocacy and expertise. Her honors and awards as a State Senator include being named Legislator of the Year by a number of organizations, including the California Library Association, the California Occupational Therapy Association, and the Arc of California. She has also been named a True Friend of Seniors by the Congress of California Seniors and has a Summa Cum Laude rating from the California Small Business Association.
Carol is recognized nationally for her leadership and expertise in education policy. In the Assembly she served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education and as a member of the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education. As a Senator she serves on the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Western Interstate Coommission for Higher Education.