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March 5, 2004

For More Information, Contact:
Daryl Savage at (650) 688-6384


PALO ALTO– An award-winning journalist and grandmother of seven has been named the 21st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year.

Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that Loretta Green, a recently retired columnist from the San Jose Mercury News, was chosen for the distinguished honor because of her long-time commitment to the community through her writing. 

“Loretta has been the voice of our community. Her columns reflected the pulse and sentiment of the public. Loretta’s gracious and elegant writing style will be greatly missed,” Simitian said.

“I was speechless,” Green said of the honor after a phone call from Assemblyman Simitian. “When Joe told me he selected me for Woman of the Year, I said to myself, ‘I shouldn’t be getting this.’ But then my husband said, ‘yes you should.’” Green continued, “After all, you just go around living your life trying to do the right thing, not expecting special treatment. I’m very pleased about this,” she said.

Green’s work over the years has won her recognition by the Associated Press, the Peninsula Press Club and the Association of California Newspaper Editors, among others.

A 33-year resident of Palo Alto, Green has been active in the community for decades. Her involvement runs the gamut. She is a member of Links Inc., and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Museum of American Heritage and a former board member of Stanford University Hospital.

Other honors for Green include the Mid-Peninsula YWCA’s outstanding Black Woman Award, the East Palo Alto Teen Home Positive Image Award, and the Career Action Center’s Woman of Vision Award.

Prior to writing her human interest column for the Mercury News, Green was a reporter at the Palo Alto Times and its successor, the Peninsula Times Tribune.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more,” Jerry Ceppos, vice president/news of Knight Ridder (and former executive editor of the Mercury News) said.
“In 32 years in newspapering, I never have seen anyone else who bonds with readers as
well as Loretta does. She has the rare combination of a great eye for news—and great class in telling stories and living her life,” Ceppos said.

After 21 years of writing, Green’s last piece for the Mercury News was a farewell column just weeks ago, where she expected to quietly leave the public light. Simitian’s announcement of Green’s selection has given her one final hurrah.  A formal ceremony at the State Capitol on March 15 will honor Green and her distinguished career.  A small reception will follow on the second floor rotunda for Assemblymembers and their honorees.



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