Guide to the Virginia Strom-Martin Papers

Processed by Tyler Cline
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
© 2011
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Virginia Strom-Martin Papers

Collection number: LP428

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Tyler Cline
Date Completed:
January 2011
Encoded by:
Cori Schmidtbauer
© 2013 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

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

Series Descriptions


Series 1 Bill Files 1997-2002

Physical Description: 122 file folders


Bill files are arranged chronologically by legislative session and then numerically by bill number.

Scope and Content Note

Bill files created by Assembly Member Strom-Martin may include bill analyses, amendments and resolutions, author's statements, testimony, press releases, editorials and newspaper clippings, correspondence, committee statements, and other information.
Of particular interest are her succession of bills regarding rural telephone infrastructure, telephones in public school classrooms, classroom size reduction programs AB2224 (1997-1998), rural cattle transportation on highways, and teacher pay equity AB 1933 (2001-2002).
Strom-Martin introduced legislation to prevent the deregulation of rural telephone service through the elimination of rate averaging three times during her legislative career. The first two, AB2433 (1997-1998) and AB1825 (1999-2000) passed the legislature but were vetoed by Governor Pete Wilson. Strom-Martin's third attempt at this legislation, AB140 (2001-2002) was signed by Governor Gray Davis.
All of her bills regarding telephones in the classroom, AB676 (1997-1998), AB1992 (1997-1998), AB1136 (1999-2000), and AB2167 (2001-2002) either failed a floor vote or were vetoed by the Governor.
Strom-Martin also made several attempts to carve out an exemption to the Department of Transportation's rules regarding trailer lengths on rural stretches of California highway, particularly Highway 101 from Willits to the Oregon border. These bills, of similar language, included AB2426 (1997-1998), AB1474 (1999-2000), and AB220 (2001-2002).
1997-1998: AB27-AB2784, ACR111-ACR174, HR220-HR59, AB2X (LP428:1-31)
1999-2000: AB74-AB2478 (LP428:32-80)
2001-2002: AB38-AB2950, ACR16-ACR197, AB64X-AB84X (LP428:81-122)

Series 2 Correspondence 1998-2002

Physical Description: 23 file folders


Correspondence files are arranged chronologically by month and alphabetically thereunder.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence files include letters written to and from Strom-Martin during the course of her legislative career. This correspondence could include letters of concern or praise from constituents, businesses, or other interested parties. The series includes personal letters and form letters sent from Strom Martin's Sacramento office or district offices by the assembly member or members of her staff, either on her behalf or in their own capacity. Some topics of correspondence include recommendations by Strom-Martin to Governor Gray Davis on cabinet nominees for his administration, requests to the Speaker of the Assembly, and resolutions or proclamations by Strom-Martin regarding persons, events, or issues. The series also includes letters, mailers, and other material received by the assembly member.

Series 3 Headwaters Files 1998-2000

Physical Description: 7 file folders


Headwaters Files are arranged alphabetically by topic.

Scope and Content Note

The files on the Headwaters Forest issue were compiled and arranged by Strom-Martin's staff. They include committee reports, correspondence and memoranda regarding Headwaters forest and the Headwaters deal. They also include press clippings and background surrounding the Greenpeace and EarthFirst! protests on PALCO land. Of note are the memoranda and correspondence regarding the police pepper spraying of activists engaged in a sit-in in Strom-Martin's Eureka district office, and the state and federal attempts to negotiate the Headwaters deal with Pacific Lumber/MAXAAM Corporation.

Series 4 Hearing Files 1998-2000

Physical Description: 6 file folders


Hearing Files are arranged alphabetically by topic.

Scope and Content Note

Hearing files include the topics of boards and committees on which Strom-Martin Served, including the Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education: Kindergarten Through Higher Education. Other committee hearings included the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Agriculture, regarding agriculture and water resources, the northern California forest ecosystem and the effects of timber harvesting, the Sonoma County 1999 General Plan update, and the Wildlife Conservation Board.
2000 Agriculture and Water Resources, Sacramento (1ff) LP428:152
2000 Education Master Plan: K-College (1ff) LP428:153
1999 Northern California Forest Ecosystem (1ff) LP428:154
2000 Sonoma County General Plan (1ff) LP428:155
1998 Wildlife Conservation Board (1ff) LP428:156
1999 Wildlife Conservation Board (1ff) LP428:157

Series 5 Reports 1987-1988

Physical Description: 7 file folders


Reports are arranged chronologically by issue date.

Scope and Content Note

Report files include weekly reports issued by Strom-Martin's staff at her Capitol and District offices for her first legislative term. These reports detail the interactions of the assembly member and members of her staff as they fulfilled their duties. These reports can include travel dates, meetings, research, and interactions with local or state officials.

Series 6 Subject Files 1998-2001

Physical Description: 10 file folders


Subject Files are arranged by Assemby Bill/Senate Bill number.

Scope and Content Note

Subject files include supplemental information regarding pending legislation in the Assembly or State Senate for which Strom-Martin received letters or postcards in support or opposition, as well as background on the topics under consideration. A notable subject is the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, or North Coast Railroad Authority, chaired by Strom-Martin's predecessor former Assemblyman Dan Hauser, who corresponded with Strom-Martin over development of the railroad in northern California and the release of funding from FEMA to the NCRA. Other subjects containing one or two pages are grouped into folders alphabetically.