CALIFORNIA.- TIME magazine named Governor Jerry Brown one of the world’s most influential people, in recognition of the work he has done over the past years.
Solving the budget crisis, reducing public debt, creating jobs, reducing unemployment from 12.5% to 8%, and more funding for public education are the main reasons the publication decided to place him number two on the list of the world’s most influential leaders.
Gray Davis, who also governed California — before Arnold Schwarzenegger — asked us to remember that Brown was a Jesuit seminary student for three years during his youth, and that is where his insistence on public austerity comes from. He reminded us that in 1975 during his first term as governor, Brown refused to have the carpeting (which had been Ronald Reagan’s) in his office replaced, to show his commitment to avoiding unnecessary expenses — especially in a moment of economic crisis.
Brown — who just turned 76 years old — is the oldest governor in California history, but was also one of the youngest when he was first elected in 1975. He left office in 1983 and went through myriad other public positions, including Mayor of Oakland and California Attorney General. He also tried to become President of the United States, losing the Democratic primary to Bill Clinton in 1992.
If he gains reelection this year, as polls believe he will, it would consolidate his status as the governor with the most years in power in the history of California — having served twelve, non–consecutively.