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Guide to the Virginia Strom-Martin Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • State Assembly, 1997-2002
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Virginia Strom-Martin Papers
    Dates: 1997-2002
    Collection number: LP428
    Creator: Virginia Strom-Martin, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 10 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Virginia Strom-Martin, Democrat of Duncan's Mills, CA was a State Assembly Member from 1997-2002. After many years of teaching elementary school, Strom-Martin brought a passion for education to her agenda when she was elcted to the Assembly. The Virginia Strom-Martin Papers collection consists of 10 cubic feet, and is organized into the following six series: Bill Files, 1997-2002; Correspondence, 1998-2002; Headwaters Files, 1998-2000; Hearing Files, 1998-2000; Reports, 1997-1998; and Subject Files, 1998-2001.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Virginia Strom-Martin Papers, LP428:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Virginia Strom-Martin Papers following her final term in the State Legislature.


    Virginia Strom-Martin, Democrat of Duncan's Mills, CA was a State Assembly Member from 1997-2002. Her 1st Assembly District included Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, as well as the cities of Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Bodega Bay, and Windsor in northern Sonoma County.
    Strom-Martin was born on March 29, 1948 in Santa Rosa. The daughter of two schoolteachers and fourth-generation Californians, Strom-Martin graduated from UC Berkeley in 1970 and subsequently attained her Master's degree from Sonoma State in 1976.
    Strom-Martin taught elementary school for 24 years before being elected to the Assembly and, as such, she brought not only a passion for education to her career in the Assembly, but to her legislative agenda as well.
    She was a member of the California Teacher's Association, where she was a State Council Representative, and in 1990 she served as the chair of the Sonoma County Proposition 98 campaign, to secure apportioned dedicated general fund revenue for local school districts.
    She was a co-founder of Sons of Beaches, an anti beach privatization advocacy group, and past president of the Sonoma County Educators Council. She was also the commissioner of the Commission on the Status of Women, a member of the National Women's Political Caucus, and a member of the Sonoma County Land Trust.
    Strom-Martin was elected to the State Assembly in 1996, and took office in 1997, serving three terms. She won the 1996 primary against former Assembly member and Congressman Doug Bosco, and defeated Republican Margie Handley in the general election. For her third and final run, her Republican opponent Mike Lampson raised no campaign finances and didn't actively campaign against Strom-Martin. She left office in 2002 when her term limit in the Assembly was reached.
    In addition, as a member of the Legislature, she served as a member of Californians Against Waste, The California Association of County Auditors, the California Park and Recreation Society, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and the State School Building Finance Commission.
    During her term in the Legislature, Strom-Martin was a member of the following committees:

    State Assembly, 1997-2002

    • Standing Committees
    • Appropriations, 1998-1999
    • Rules (Alternate), 1997-1998
    • Budget, 1997-2002
    • Consumer Protection, 1999-2002
    • Education, 1997-2002
    • Chair, 2001-2002
    • Government Efficiency and Economic Development, 1997-1998
    • Water, Parks, and Wildlife, 1999-2002
    • Select Committees
    • California Ports, 1997-2000
    • California Wine, 1997-1998
    • Coastal Protection, 1997-2002
    • Exposition Park, 1999-2000
    • Mental Health, 1997-1998
    • Rural Economic Development, 1997-2002
    • Chair, 1997-2000, Vice Chair, 2001-2002
    • School Safety, 1999-2002
    • Subcommittees
    • Budget Subcommittee No. 3 Resources, 1997-2002
    • Chair, 1997-2000
    • Joint Committees
    • Joint Committee on the Arts, 2001-2002
    • Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Higher Education - Kindergarten through University
    • Vice Chair, 2001-2002
    • Joint Committee on Fisheries and Agriculture, 2001-2002
    • Chair, 2001-2002
    • Joint Committee on Headwaters, Forest and Ecosystem Management Planning, 1997-1999
    • Joint Committee on School Facilities, 2001-2002

    Scope and Content

    The Virginia Strom-Martin Papers consist of 10 cubic feet of textual and audiovisual records and spans the years 1997-2002. The collection is organized into the following series: Bill Files, 1997-2002; Correspondence, 1998-2002; Headwaters Files, 1998-2000; Hearing Files, 1998-2000; Reports, 1997-1998; and Subject Files, 1998-2001.
    The Bill Files document Assembly Member Strom-Martin's legislative activity during her terms as a member of the California State Legislature. The bills introduced by Strom-Martin include a wide array of subjects, mainly relating to education or issues of the North Coast of California. Education bills of Strom-Martin's include AB676 (1997-1998) relating to school safety; AB2224 (19997-1998) modifying class size reduction requirements; and AB1992 (1997-1998) and AB1136 (1999-2000), both of which attempted to mandate telephones in classrooms.
    Bills relating to the north coast included AB96 (1997-1998) to secure funding for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad; AB2433 (1997-1998) attempting to prevent regional telephone operators from abandoning rate averaging for rural consumers; AB1254 (1999-2000) restoring salmon habitats in rural river runs; and AB671 (2001-2002) relating to tax and regulatory exemptions for the conversion of former timber land.
    The Correspondence files include chronological correspondence received by the Sacramento and district offices of Strom-Martin and may contain copies of the legislator's responses to constituents or other concerned parties regarding issues. These files also contain her resolutions and proclamations as a member of the California Legislature, often promoted in tandem with State Senator Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata).
    Files pertaining to the Headwaters Forest, including letters sent and received by Strom-Martin, legislation, and hearings, were grouped into one series by her staff. These files include background and research on the Headwaters deal, as well as investigations by Strom-Martin's Joint Committee on Headwaters Forest and Ecosystem Management Planning.
    Subject Files include supplementary material regarding issues of the legislature, including legislation. These files can include letters in support or opposition of a measure, whether from constituents, businesses, or other politicians, press clippings, research, and background materials. A single file on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad is followed by single-subject files arranged alphabetically by Strom-Martin's staff.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Strom-Martin, Virginia
    California. Legislature. Assembly
    California Teachers Association
    California Park and Recreation Society