California politicos react to Steve Jobs’ death

From Gov. Jerry Brown:

“Steve Jobs was a great California innovator who demonstrated what a totally independent and creative mind can accomplish. Few people have made such a powerful and elegant imprint on our lives. Anne and I wish to express our deepest sympathy to Steve’s wife, Laurene, and their entire family.”

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was a true visionary who brought out the best in others. His legacy will live on, not only in technology and business but also in the way the world communicates. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Laurene, his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”

From Attorney General Kamala Harris:

“California has lost a great leader with the passing of Steve Jobs. His character, intelligence, and creativity changed how the world works and how the world imagines itself. We are forever grateful and inspired by the gift he has given us. I send my thoughts and sympathies to Laurene and the entire Jobs family.”

From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif:

“I send my deepest condolences to Steve Jobs’ family and friends on this devastating loss. Steve Jobs was a California icon who embodied Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit of creativity and optimism. By revolutionizing communications, he touched the lives of billions of people around the world. He will be sorely missed.”

From Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose:

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Steve Jobs. Today, the world lost a great innovator. He was a visionary whose work and passion played a large part in making Silicon Valley what it is today. I am proud to represent Cupertino, the city he made home to Apple and where he led the company as it developed transformative products that put technology in the hands of the people around the globe. Sadly, he has left us too soon, but I believe that his spirit will live on with his loved ones, with Apple, and with the millions of people around the world whose lives he has touched through his work. Steve will be greatly missed by the rest of the Silicon Valley family.”

Tweeted by former state controller and Silicon Valley bigwig Steve Westly: “At a loss of words hearing the passing of Steve Jobs. He was a great entrepreneur, inventor & genius; the Edison of our times. May he RIP.”

Tweeted by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “Steve lived the California Dream every day of his life and he changed the world and inspired all of us. #ThankYouSteve”

Some statements entered into the Congressional Record, after the jump…

From Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont:

Mr. Speaker: I rise today to honor Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, who passed away yesterday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

In his short 56 years on this planet, Jobs fundamentally changed the way the world communicates, learns, transacts and gets its entertainment. He also managed to make technology fun and widely accessible.

In the early 1980s, I had the pleasure of collaborating with this once-in-a-generation innovator. At the time he was just a young guy. We met on an airplane and got to talking about a shared interest: getting computers, which were then cutting-edge technology, into classrooms.

Job’s vision was for Apple to give a computer to every school in the country. I had been interested in projects to improve kids’ computer literacy in a world that was becoming ever more technologically sophisticated. At issue was our children’s lack of access to that technology.

On our cross-country flight, Jobs explained that he was bumping up against a tax hurdle in his effort to give Apple computers to schools. Donating goods to a school, he found, was not viable for a business because they could only write off the very minimal production cost of the item. This limitation made it financially untenable for Apple, or any other manufacturer, to donate computers to schools. Somewhere over the Midwest, Jobs and I agreed to work together to remove this barrier.

In the months that followed, Jobs came out to Washington and helped me and my staff write legislation to create a charitable deduction allowance for computer donations to elementary, middle and high schools. Senator John Danforth, a Missouri Republican, picked up the torch and introduced the legislation in the Senate.

Our original bill passed the House with flying colors but died in the Senate. In the next Congress, Rep. Bill Archer, a Texas Republican, joined me in the House to champion the bill that became law in 1984. Passage paved the way for the broad distribution of donated computers to our kids’ schools.

Critics questioned whether the donated computers would ever make it out of the boxes they came in because not every teacher was technologically minded. Others called the federal tax credit a waste of money. How wrong they were.

Steve Jobs made technology accessible the world over by putting computers into our classrooms, our homes, and our pockets. In honoring his life, we must remember naysayers’ initial doubts about whether computer technology was worth federal investment. As we consider our federal deficit and ways to shrink it, we must not become so rigid as to fail to support innovation. Had we not taken that risk decades ago, our educational system, our communities and our world would be a drastically different place.

From Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great sadness to speak about the passing of my constituent – an American icon, an American genius – Steve Jobs.

Steve was a child of Silicon Valley before there even was a Silicon Valley. He was born here, he was raised here, he started his business here, and he raised his family here. He was a part of Silicon Valley from start to finish, and I’m proud to have had him as my constituent.

Like many of Silicon Valley’s pioneers and innovators, Steve began in a garage with just a simple idea and an oversized dream. And from those humble beginnings, his creative genius literally shaped our entire world.

In his short life, Steve Jobs’ accomplishments elevated him as one of the great American innovators, not only in the 20th and 21st centuries, but in the history of our entire nation.

Steve said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” He put far more than just a dent in the world – he changed the way we work, learn, play and live – Macs, iPods, iTunes, iPhones, iPads, movies, design, and the democratization of the technology. He personalized technology for every man, woman and child.

As the world will mourn him, Silicon Valley will personally miss him, his brilliant mind, and his restless genius. Steve urged colleagues and friends, “Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s dream.” Steve’s legacy will live on and it will continue to inspire future generations of Americans.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the entire U.S. House of Representatives to join with me in expressing our deepest sympathy to Laurene Jobs and their four children.

As a poet wrote “…and so he passed, and all the trumpets sounded on the other side.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.