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October 25, 1992

Barbara Boxer

Born: Nov. 11, 1940, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Residence: Greenbrae.

Current position: U.S. congresswoman representing the 6th District, which encompasses Marin County and other portions of the Bay Area. Education: B.A. in economics, Brooklyn College, 1962. Career highlights: Stockbroker, 1962-65; reporter and associate editor of weekly Pacific Sun, 1972-74; aide to then-Rep. John Burton, 1974-76; Marin County supervisor, 1976-82; member of Congress, 1983-present. Personal: Married to attorney Stewart Boxer in 1962. Two grown children.

Excerpts from speeches: We must invest in America

In this campaign, much is at stake. It is not about partisan politics. The economy is at stake, the environment is at stake, the freedom of women and men is at stake in the form of the right to choose. And we have to understand that this goes beyond abortion. The people who oppose a woman's right to choose are supporting a gag rule so that health care workers will no longer be able to tell their clients the truth. We have a situation where because of their opposition we can't have fetal tissue research, which holds such promise. We do not have the pill RU-486 coming into this country, and that stops a whole very exciting area of research, because it holds a promise for finding a cure for breast cancer and for Cushing's syndrome and for other diseases. So, much is at stake.

In my election for the U.S. Senate, you are going to find out who is for kids and who is just kidding, and Barbara Boxer is for kids and Bruce Herschensohn is just kidding. Let's make that clear. Many times we isolate a discussion about education and we don't connect it to the fact that it is probably the most important factor as we look at our economy. Education is probably the most important economic issue. And we have to put it in that light.

Recently, we found out that an international study has shown that America has slipped to No. 5 in competitiveness. In explaining why, as you read through the report, they attributed it, these researchers, to one thing: Our education system in America has slipped to No. 21 in the world--21 in the world!--and therefore we are losing out competitive edge.

The fact is I don't think there is much disagreement in this land that education is the great equalizer, does give our people the opportunity. Even if they miss it a little bit in the early years, they can catch it in the community college. But we don't want them to miss it in the early years, we want them to have it from Day 1. Head Start for all 3-year-olds, we need to start there! Now, the Education Department has just released its annual study of high school dropout rates, and the six cities with the highest dropout rates in the entire country are here in Southern California. We need help here and we need help all over the state.

Our educational system is in trouble. We know it. When I was a kid in the '50s--when we found out in America that we were falling behind in math and science and Russia launched Sputnik, the whole country froze in place and said, "What has happened to us? How are we going to keep up?" And a Republican President, Dwight David Eisenhower, said, "This will not do." And he worked with the Congress--this was leadership--and they passed the National Defense Education Act.

But those days are long gone. There's been a disconnect, a disconnect in our country between the Republican leaders we have seen in Washington and our children, and our teachers, and that's wrong, because we'll never compete if we don't fix it and it's time to fix it now.

We must invest in America. It is a crucial part of Bill Clinton's message, it is a crucial part of Dianne Feinstein's message and it's a crucial part of my message. I used to be a stockbroker, and I know, when you make wise investments they pay! What? Dividends! Dividends! And when we have educated kids, and healthy and happy kids, and kids who are on track, those are huge dividends to our society, to our economy, and to all our families and our family values.

How are we going to pay for these investments? I think it is time to tell our allies in Europe and Asia it is time that they paid for their own military bills. Then we can bring that money home and take care of our own. I have authored a bill called the Reinvest in America Education Act: Head Start through college loans--mentors, computers in the classroom, teaching the foreign languages, rebuilding our schools. They are falling apart!

The fact is, we seriously have to tell our allies who we care about that we'll always be there for them. But they have to pay their own military bills. It's more than $300 million a day. What are they doing while we are picking up their military bills? Educating their kids, investing in high technology, rebuilding their infrastructure, highways and bridges.

Bruce Herschensohn

Born: Sept. 10, 1932, Milwaukee. Residence: Los Angeles.

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