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CA State Assembly Adjourns in Memory of Former Assemblymember Sally Tanner

Thank you Mr. Speaker and members.

I rise to adjourn in the memory of Sally Tanner, former member of the California State Assembly.

Sally left us on August 20 at the well-lived age of 94. She was elected to the State Assembly in 1978 and served until 1992. Sally represented the 60th Assembly District which then covered El Monte, San Gabriel, City of Industry and La Puente. After retiring from the Legislature, she moved to the bucolic Humboldt community of Ferndale.

Born Sally Zinski in Indiana, near Chicago, she was the youngest of 8 children—her mother was a chef in a steel mill and her father a plumber. She attended Pasadena Community College and the Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles. Sally was the mother of two sons, Tim and Chris.

Sally got into politics, motivated as a volunteer in the 1956 presidential campaign for Adalai Stevenson, II. She would be a member of the Democratic Party throughout her life and started the Humboldt County Democratic Caucus.

Sally was best known as the author of California’s “Lemon Law,” a landmark law that protects purchasers of new and used cars under warranty and put California consumers among the most protected in the nation and a model for other states.

She notably served as the first chair of the Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee, created during her tenure, and was a founding member of the Legislative Women’s Caucus with former Assemblymember Bev Hansen. Sally was well known and respected for working effectively with all of her legislative colleagues regardless of party.

Sally found joy and success in other fields as well. She was an artist and an accomplished angler. Eight years ago, she and her longtime partner, retired judge Patricia Hofstetter, were the only two female contestants in the 31st annual Chopper Steelhead Derby on the Smith and Chetco rivers, and won the competition by hauling in the largest fish, a 36 and a half-inch Steelhead. It’s a competition that Sally and Patricia would win three times.

She was also a very proud adopter of and mother to many rescue pups.

Sally worked endlessly to support women’s rights. In her interview with the Center for Oral and Public History just last year in November, she was asked what pressing issues still concerned her and she said “achieving equal pay for equal work for women” and added “we’re just not there yet.”

If you ever had the opportunity to meet Sally, you’d never forget her. And if you never had the opportunity to meet her, we should still not forget her. Sally was a force of nature, an artist, a mother, an angler, a policy maker, a trailblazer, a role model, a dog lover and an endless supporter of women’s rights and equality, and I ask that we adjourn today in her memory.