Additional Statementsby Senator Barbara Boxer
Posted on 2015-01-20
BOXER. Madam President, I would like to take this
opportunity to recognize my great friend and former colleague Sam
Chapman, who is retiring on February 1, 2015, after a long and
distinguished career in public service.
I first had the opportunity to work with Sam when we were both county supervisors in northern California. When I was elected to the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1976, Sam had already served 2 years on the neighboring Napa County Board of Supervisors after successfully defeating an incumbent. He was only 26 at the time, but he had been motivated to launch his underdog run after watching the incumbent fall asleep at a public meeting. Although he called his 1974 win ``the beginning of my career in politics,'' Sam had already shown a deep dedication to the ideals of public service.
After receiving his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, Sam joined Volunteers in Service to America, VISTA, a national public service program envisioned by President John F. Kennedy and implemented by President Lyndon Johnson to fight poverty in America. He worked with VISTA as a volunteer attorney in the field of poverty law and later became a staff attorney for the Napa County Legal Assistance Agency. He then opened his own general practice law office in Napa prior to running for supervisor.
Sam and I have always shared so many values--he has always been a strong advocate for the environment and other progressive causes--and during the 6 years we served together, we worked to improve the lives of people throughout our North Bay communities. When I was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, I knew right away that I wanted Sam on my team. For more than 20 years--as press secretary, legislative director, and finally as my chief of staff--Sam worked tirelessly every day to serve the people of the State of California.
In 2004, seeking a new way to serve his community, Sam left the U.S. Senate to become the publisher of the Pacific Sun, a weekly newspaper focused on Marin County. He always had an interest in the news media, having worked as a reporter and editor for the Napa Valley Register prior to receiving his law degree. In 2010, following his lifelong interest in the environment and renewable energy issues, he became the State and Community Affairs Manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he has worked to strengthen the lab's ties with the local and regional community. Throughout his career in public service, Sam also found the time to serve on a number of environmental commissions, lending his expertise to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and California Air Resources Board.
For more than three decades, Sam has been a trusted ally, advisor, and friend. As he begins his retirement and embarks on the next exciting phase of his life, I send him and his family, especially his two beautiful daughters Allegra and Sabrina, my best wishes, deep affection, and abiding gratitude.