Delaine Eastin Officially Launches Campaign for Governor

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2017

Two-time Superintendent of Public Instruction says California can do better

Sacramento, CA – Today, former Assemblymember and former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin officially launches her campaign for Governor of California.  Eastin pledged her commitment to the same values that she has fought for over the past 30 years.

“When I ran for State Assembly, my slogan was –- Because We Can Do Better. Today that slogan still applies,” said Eastin. “We can do better for our children and their education, for our working families one paycheck away from economic distress, for those applying to our colleges and universities, for DREAMERS afraid for their future, for those stuck in traffic on our roads and highways in need of repair, for working people looking for a good job and for those who hope to someday buy a house and raise a family in this great state.”

As the only woman to hold the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Eastin served with two different Governors – one Republican and one Democrat – where she oversaw a staff of over 3,000 and a budget that incorporated over 40% of the state’s budget. She successfully reduced class sizes in every K-3 class in California while championing public libraries, wiring schools for technology, increasing workforce training and stronger technical and vocational training for students. She also worked to create statewide standards and systems to increase accountability.  

Eastin led the fight to cut the outdated education code and streamline state bureaucracy.  She also served as a Regent of the University of California and a Trustee of the California State University system, fighting against higher tuition. 

She fought for increased parental involvement, better teacher training and worked to create a safe and healthy school environment for every child regardless of race, gender or orientation.

Eastin took on the tobacco companies and helped pass Proposition 10.  This measure, known as the California Children and Families First Act of 1998, increased taxes on tobacco products, and the revenue generated funded the creation of First 5 California. First 5 designs comprehensive programs that address the needs of children ages 0 to 5 and their families.

“When lawmakers worked with Governor Schwarzenegger to try and take this money to balance the state budget I led the charge against this bad idea and voters agreed with me,” Eastin said. “Now it is time we stop balancing the budget on the backs of our children – from those starting out in preschool to those burdened with higher tuition costs at our universities and colleges."

As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Eastin was always known as a passionate voice who was not afraid of speaking the truth to power, time and again. She opposed Governor Wilson and his misguided policies that would have targeted immigrant students in our classrooms.  

“I stood up for those in need and I’ll stand up to Donald Trump and his divisive, misguided policies that could hurt millions of working families, challenge our public schools and remove the healthcare of millions of Californians,” said Eastin. “For the past few years I have mentored many young people and encouraged many of them, especially women, to run for office. I am running for Governor to show them that together we can do better.”

A native Californian, Eastin received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis, and her master's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Delaine taught political science and women's studies for seven years, teaching at DeAnza and Canada Colleges, and was the Women’s Studies Coordinator at Canada. Eastin later became an Accounting Manager at Pacific Telesis Group. She won a seat on the Union City Council during that time and held those positions until her election to the State Assembly in 1986.

Eastin served in the California State Assembly until 1994, when she was elected as Superintendent of Public Instruction.  She was re-elected to a second term in 1998. When she termed out in 2003, she became the first director of the National Institute for School Leadership in Washington, D.C. Later, Eastin was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and directed the Center for Civic Engagement and Women’s Leadership at Mills College.

Eastin was Board President of Close the Gap CA, a group that is dedicated to increasing the number of women in the California Legislature by recruiting talented, progressive women to run for elected office.

Eastin serves on the SIATech board, a charter school located at the Job Corps sites across California and dedicated to helping dropouts and emancipated youths who tend to be years behind in school, to earn their high school diploma. She also currently chairs  “Educate our State” and has served on a number of boards and commissions that support children, public education and nutrition, including the Chancellor’s Women in STEM Board at UC Davis, the Edible Schoolyard Foundation, the California Environmental Education Foundation board, the public television (KVIE) and public radio (CPR) boards in Sacramento, the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement and the Advisory Board at the Center for Nutrition Education at UC Davis, to name a few. In 2015, for her work, personal achievement and contributions to the ideals of higher education, Eastin was awarded the UC Davis Medal, the highest honor the campus bestows for those who have fostered a bold and innovative spirit in teaching, research and public service.  
If elected, she would be California’s first woman governor. Read more about the campaign at


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