Urging women to make a difference

“Women make a difference when they’re in public policy,” Eastin said. She advocates running for local office and building up to higher office. It’s what she did.


A part-time teacher at La Canada and De Anza community colleges who was living in Union City, she drove “a thousand miles a week” getting to her jobs, she said, and volunteered to start women’s programs and women’s studies classes and wrote grant proposals. Just as she was about to be hired as full-time instructor at La Canada in 1978, Californians passed Proposition 13, school funding was soon to be cut and the offer was rescinded.

Eastin went into private industry, served on the Union City Planning Commission and ran for, and was elected to, the Union City City Council. “And I read everything,” she said. 

She ran and was elected to represent Union City and nearby communities in the state Assembly, serving from 1986-1994 before being elected state superintendent of public instruction, serving in that post from 1995-2004.

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