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April 5, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) was honored today as one of the American Electronics Association’s (AeA) “High-Tech Legislators of the Year”.  Simitian and fellow honorees attended a celebratory luncheon at Techmart in Santa Clara where they received official recognition. The AeA selected Simitian for this honor based on his commitment to the advancement of high-tech legislation.

After being notified of the honor, Simitian said, “It’s gratifying to be recognized by the AeA for last year’s long hours and late nights. The vitality of the tech industry is essential to a vibrant California economy, and we’ve faced some tough times of late. So I was particularly pleased to be in a position to support the interests of Silicon Valley residents.”

Gary Fazzino, a Senior Vice President at Hewlett Packard noted, “I’ve known Joe for a long time, and know firsthand what a capable legislator he is, but even I was impressed by the speed with which he stepped into a leadership role on high-tech issues. More than just a quick study, Simitian is accessible and he listens to our industry’s perspective. We appreciate that.”

AeA is the nation’s largest high-tech trade association, representing more than 3,500 member companies. They have recognized outstanding contributions of California State Legislators since 1991.

Mark Albertson, AeA’s senior vice president for California and the western United States commended Simitian for “true leadership on issues of profound impact to the future of the high-tech industry and California economy.”

“As a new member of the Legislature, it was important for me from the start to tackle issues that matter to the folks I represent,” said Simitian. “The tech industry drives our local economy. Doing what I could to keep high tech and our local economy healthy was at the top of my ‘to do’ list. At the same time,” said Simitian, “I am anxious that we address issues of access and opportunity – that opportunity is there for every segment of our population.”

As a first term member of the Assembly, Simitian successfully authored AB 821 to help combat high tech crime, jointly authored AB 620 to establish a set of high tech high schools in California and worked to find compromise on legislation that threatened the confidentiality of proprietary information crucial to high tech industries.

Simitian represents the tech-rich Twenty-First Assembly District which runs from Foster City in the North down to the Shoreline section of Mountain View in the South. It is home to numerous high-tech headquarters and facilities.