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Guide to the Barry Keene Papers
LP311:1-2289, LP195:221-299, LP196:1-143, LP213:237-261  
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Barry Keene, Democrat served in the California State Assembly 1972-1978 and California State Senate, 1978-1992. The Barry Keene papers contain eighty-five feet of records representing many of Keene's concerns and goals for his districts and California as a whole during his twenty years in the California State Legislature.
Hailing from California's politically liberal north coast, Barry Keene has been one of the Golden State's most outspoken Democratic legislators. Born in 1938 in New Jersey, he went on to earn Bachelor of Arts and Jurisprudence degrees from Stanford University in 1960 and 1964, respectfully. After a brief career as an attorney in Santa Rosa, Keene was elected to the California State Assembly in 1972. Keene represented California's 2nd Assembly District, encompassing Del Norte, northern Sonoma, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake counties. During his time in the Assembly, Keene chaired the Committee on Health, authoring key legislation designed to reform medical malpractice lawsuits and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). In 1978, Keene was elected to represent the 2nd Senatorial District in the California State Senate, where he chaired the Judiciary Committee and served as majority leader from 1985 to 1992. Addressing concerns in his home district, Keene authored numerous bills on environmental protection throughout his political career. A controversial figure in many respects, he also authored a number of idealistic bills that were ultimately defeated, including one to split the state in two, and another to decriminalize marijuana. After several conflicts with San Francisco politician Willie Brown and Governor George Deukmejian, Keene became disillusioned with politics, retiring from the State Senate in 1992.
85 cubic feet
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.
While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.