Monterey, California 93942, United States
|| July 04, 1941
Feb 05, 2013 10:31am
|Info||Sam Farr, a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state's beautiful Central Coast. His district encompasses the majestic Big Sur coastline; the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; the fertile Salinas Valley "salad bowl;" the redwoods, mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz County, and the majestic rural landscape of San Benito County. |
The health and wealth of this region are attributable to Rep. Farr's focus on the environment, education and the economy. Taken collectively, these "three e's" have defined the congressman's record and propelled the economic growth of the 17th District during his tenure.
Once beset by a lackluster economy and the biggest military base closing in the history of the United States, the Central Coast has become a national model for sustainable development, base conversion, marine science research and post-secondary foreign language education. The robust economic vitality on the Central Coast is buttressed by revenues of $2.4 billion from agriculture, and approximately $1.5 billion from tourism.
Rep. Farr took the lead last year in refusing to allow the U.S. Navy to establish a practice bombing range near Big Sur. This year, he has championed the cause of affordable housing by demanding that local officials provide more workforce homes on the former Fort Ord.
A member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Farr serves on two key subcommittees that enable him to promote and protect the interests of his region: agriculture and military construction. The congressman=s accomplishments for the Central Coast agriculture and military communities in recent years include lobbying for the strict federal organic standards that will take effect this month, helping to facilitate the final agreement that conveys the former Fort Ord to civilian hands, and continuing to call for establishing a veterans' cemetery at Fort Ord.
Working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, Rep. Farr has helped engineer what amounts to a total economic turn-around of the region. Since being elected to Congress in 1993, Farr has obtained more than $65 million in defense conversion funds to start a new California State University at the closed Fort Ord military base. This university now provides a major economic stimulus for the region.
Rep. Farr, D-Carmel, also secured a new Defense Department finance center which will employ more than a hundred federal employees; a new University of California science research center; a new housing project for the homeless; a veterans' clinic; a business-industrial airport; two new public golf courses; 8,000 acres of new federal parkland, and a one-stop job training and employment center. And the congressman worked to see that California's Route 1, which wends through the famed Big Sur, was designated an "All American Road" - one of only six nationwide.
Rep. Farr has established himself as a leader in the house by chairing California's Democratic Congressional Delegation, the largest and most ethnically diverse congressional delegation in the country. This is Rep. Farr's second term as chairman.
In 1997 Congressman Farr re-established the Travel and Tourism Caucus, which he co-chairs with Rep. Mark Foley from Florida. The caucus plays a key role in developing tourism-related policy.
At the behest of Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, President Clinton in January 2000 ordered that 7,960 acres be added to Pinnacles National Monument, which straddles San Benito and Monterey counties. The rugged features of the monument include spire-like rock formations that rise 500 to 1,200 feet high, and a network of talus caves. Two primary drainage channels and periodic flash floods over millions of years have helped to sculpt the special geological features found in this monument.
Rep. Farr has served his district and others with legislative initiatives that provide tax incentives to keep America's farmland in productive use. He has also worked to shore up our democratic government with comprehensive campaign finance reform. And Rep. Farr has bolstered our country's land and ocean resources with initiatives to save essential fish habitat and enhance funding for national marine sanctuaries.
Rep. Farr was the author of the original Oceans Act, a version of which passed Congress and was signed into law on Aug. 8, 2000. Patterned after legislation that created the Stratton Commission more than 30 years ago, it will establish an inventory of our nation's coastal and marine resources, ocean programs and policies, federal funding priorities, infrastructure requirements and technological opportunities. Rep. Farr believes that an independent analysis by an oceans commission is essential in order to confront the changes that have occurred over the past three decades in our marine environment. We must also find ways to sustain and protect our oceans, and to explore ocean frontiers.
Rep. Farr co-chairs the House Oceans Caucus with three other members of Congress: Reps. Tom Allen of Maine, and Jim Greenwood and Curt Weldon, both of Pennsylvania. The caucus strives to improve oceans-related policy making in the House.
For his work, Sam Farr has been recognized as an "Environmental Hero" by the League of Conservation Voters, garnering a perfect voting record in its 1996 and 1998 ratings, and has been given perfect voting scores by the Center for Marine Conservation and Children's Defense Fund. He was named 1996 Legislator of the Year by the American Planning Association.
Before coming to the House of Representatives in 1993, Sam Farr served 12 and one-half years in the California State Assembly, being re-elected six times with overwhelming majorities. As a member of the Assembly, Sam Farr chaired the Assembly Local Government Committee as well as the Committee on Economic Development and New Technologies. He was also a member of the standing committees on education, natural resources, and finance and insurance. He was recognized as a leader in legislative efforts for educational excellence, environmental protection, economic development and new technologies.
His accomplishments included passage of laws to expand and develop the State Park system; stop offshore oil drilling and hold polluters fully financially responsible for oil spill damages; give businesses incentives to develop new technologies for environmental clean-up; place computers in public school classrooms, and study the impacts of defense conversion on the state's economy. Sam Farr was named Legislator of the Year nine times.
Prior to serving in the California Assembly, Rep. Farr was a Monterey County Supervisor. He began his career in public service in 1964 with a two-year commitment in the Peace Corps in Colombia, South America.
Rep. Farr graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon with a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1963 and attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. He is fluent in Spanish.
Sam Farr was born on the 4th of July, 1941. He is a long-time resident of Carmel, California and is married to Shary Baldwin Farr. The Farrs have one grown daughter, Jessica.