Rose Ann Vuich

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Rose Ann Vuich (c.1927 - August 30, 2001) served as a member of the California State Senate from 1977 until 1993. She was the first female member of the California State Senate.[1]

The daughter of an immigrant from Serbia, her family settled in the town of Cutler, California where her family began farming. A small packing house was built next to their home to pack and ship the family's crops. A type of white peach later named the "Rose Ann" were grown here. Rose Ann graduated from Orosi Union High School, now Orosi High School.[2] Vuich later moved to the nearby town of Dinuba, California and became a tax accountant. She became a member of the Alta District Hospital Board and President of the Dinuba Chamber of Commerce.[3] Not many initially took notice when she ran for a vacant state Senate seat in 1976, as the area voted Republican in most elections.[4] However, she scored one of the biggest upsets in the state that year when she narrowly defeated Ernest Mobley, a 10 year Republican Assemblyman, in the general election.

Vuich quickly became popular in her conservative district for her unassuming manner and her political independence. She broke with her party on agricultural and law enforcement issues on several occasions. Her Democratic colleagues tolerated that because of the conservative constituency she represented. However, she was willing to stand up to conservatives, angering popular Republican Governor George Deukmejian in 1989 when she voted against confirming his chosen appointee for state Treasurer when the post became vacant [5].

Vuich would ring a bell whenever her fellow Senators addressed the collective members of the Senate as "Gentlemen," to remind them that the chamber was no longer exclusively male.[4]

Vuich retired from politics in 1992. One of her former staffers, Cal Dooley, later became a United States Representative from Hanford, California from 1991 until 2005.

The Rose Anne Vuich Ethical Leadership Award is presented annually by the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno to a person who has demonstrated "integrity, strength of character, exemplary ethical behavior, ability to build consensus, serving the public interest and vision for enhancing the community." Recipients of the Vuich Award include: Juan Arambula (2002) and Cal Dooley (2004).[5]

The interchange of State Route 41 and State Route 180 in Fresno, California is named the Rose Ann Vuich Interchange, and in 2006, Hearing Room 2040 at the California State Capitol was renamed the Rose Ann Vuich Hearing Room.[5][6] Rose Ann Vuich Park, named in her honor, is located in the city of Dinuba, California.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/voorheis-vyzral.html#13D00X23K accessed 12-14-08
  2. ^ [1][2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ a b "Caucus History". California Women's Legislative Caucus. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.joincalifornia.com/candidate/5836 accessed 12-14-08
  6. ^ [4]

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