Hannah-Beth Jackson ‘71 California Assemblymember, Thirty-Fifth District, Selected as 2002 Commencement Speaker

After earning an undergraduate degree from Scripps in 1971 with a joint major in government and sociology, Hannah-Beth Jackson went on to receive her law degree from Boston University. Following law school, Hannah-Beth returned to California to work as a deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County. She eventually started a family law practice in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

As a prosecutor and a family law attorney, Hannah-Beth has advocated for justice for women, children, and victims of crime for over twenty years. She has fought for victims of domestic violence and has provided pro bono legal counsel to rape victims at the Santa Barbara Shelter Services for Women and Women Against Gun Violence. She is also a founding member and past president of Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee.

Hannah-Beth served on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the California Commission on the Status of Women. In addition, Hannah-Beth served on Governor Deukmejian’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Child Support Development and Enforcement, which was charged with improving child support collection. Further, Hannah-Beth was appointed by State Senator Gary Hart to serve on the State Senate Task Force on Family Equity.

On November 3, 1998, Hannah-Beth was elected to the California State Assembly. She represents the 35th Assembly District, which encompasses Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula, and much of Santa Barbara County, including the City of Santa Barbara. Currently, Hannah-Beth is chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Coastal Protection. She is also serving on the Assembly’s Special Session Committee on Energy Costs and Availability. Last year, the Consumer Federation of California named her their "Assemblymember of the Year" for her strong advocacy on behalf of consumers, particularly in the areas of health care and privacy rights.

In recognition of her notable achievements, Hannah-Beth was named the recipient of the 2001 Scripps College Distinguished Alumna Award, which is given to an alumna who has attained distinctive achievements and sustained growth in her chosen field. The Award Selection Committee was particularly impressed by the intelligence, balance and commitment that Hannah-Beth has brought to California.

It is particularly fitting to have a Scripps alumna of Hannah-Beth’s stature to be the speaker at the Commencement that marks the 75th anniversary of the College. Utilizing the clear thinking and thoughtful discourse that she exhibited while a student at Scripps, Hannah-Beth has consistently earned the respect of the disparate groups with whom she has worked, as well as the members of the Scripps community.