On Thursday, May 28 East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher delivered her final farewell to some 200 Commonwealth Club members and guests at Lafayette’s Veterans Memorial Hall. Though she covered a lot of ground in a wide-ranging discussion of policy and her past, she opened her remarks with anecdotes about her daughter, Katherine, and her tremendous love for California.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Tauscher, who served California’s 10th district for past 12 years, will be leaving her post to become senior adviser on arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament issues to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. In this position, Tauscher will take on national and global security relations, and international peacekeeping policy direction. In the conversation with Commonwealth Club CEO and President Dr. Gloria Duffy, herself a former nuclear arms negotiator for the Clinton administration, Tauscher told audience members she is committed to upholding The Constitution, and trusting her conscious as well as her constituents.
“The United States needs a new visibility,” said Tauscher, “to show that we can indeed lead the world in issues of security and arms negation.”
Though unable to discuss details of nuclear policy due to her pending Senate confirmation process, as the conversation turned to issues of nuclear nonproliferation, Tauscher shared her expertise and voiced her pledge to moving U.S. policy toward total nuclear disarmament.
She addressed a wide range of topics -- from U.S. national security policies to where Tauscher’s daughter was going to college, (Bucknell, to play Division I Volleyball). When asked about her future with the Obama administration, Tauscher described how she believes America “can have national security and civil rights at the same time.” When questioned about the state of our economy Tauscher emphasized, “The U.S. needs to get ‘back to basics’ and is in need of a complete overhaul, like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.”
Regarding the 10th District, Tauscher expressed her admiration for what she called the “California lifestyle” and how she believes the state can be a leader in both alternative energies and transportation innovation for the rest of the country. Advocating for high-speed rail and enhanced carbon-free methods of transportation such as bicycles, Tauscher said that Californians “have more opportunity and more reason to get it right than anyone else.”
Tauscher, who is currently the chair of the Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee, has served as the representative of California’s 10th Congressional District since 1997. She has strengthened and expanded nonproliferation programs by creating the White House Office of the Coordinator on Nuclear Non-proliferation and a commission to study our nation’s role in the nuclear arms debate. Before running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, Tauscher was an active fundraiser for the Democratic Party. She chaired Dianne Feinstein's successful 1992 and 1994 Senate campaigns. Previously, Tauscher worked as an investment banker and became a member of the New York Stock Exchange. The Newark, New Jersey, native earned her B.S. from Seton Hall University in 1974. She lives in Alamo, California.
– Written by The Commonwealth Club's Media and Public Relations Department
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