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Barbara L.
Democrat CA 13

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  • Honoring Susan Rasky

    by Representative Barbara Lee

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    LEE of california in the house of representatives Thursday, January 16, 2014 Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the extraordinary life of Susan Rasky, former political reporter for The New York Times and lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. Known throughout the nation as an accomplished reporter, Ms. Rasky has left an indelible mark on the national discourse. With her passing on December 29, 2013, we look to the outstanding quality of her life's work and the inspiring role she played in shaping the nature of political reporting and inspiring future journalists.



    Born on June 10, 1952, Susan Rasky was raised in the Los Angeles area. Her passion for politics grew out of discussions at family dinners, where it was common place for her to bring up the most salient political issues of the day. Her drive and enthusiasm for political discussion propelled her to study History at UC Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. Ms. Rasky went on to earn her Master's degree in Economic History from the distinguished London School of Economics.

    Arriving in Washington, D.C. with an academic background in economics and an interest for journalism, Ms. Rasky began her career as a reporter. She covered issues concerning the economy and economic policy for different news organizations, including the Bureau of National Affairs and Reuters. After just five years, she began reporting for The New York Times as a Congressional correspondent. At The New York Times, she wrote more than 1,700 articles for both New York and Washington, D.C., exploring issues relating to the tax code and the Federal Reserve.

    Renowned for her insight and powerful voice, Ms. Rasky received the George Polk Award in 1990. Acknowledged for her coverage of the Congressional budget crisis, she and her colleagues shared recognition for this prestigious award for their critical and insightful research and reporting on these complex issues facing the nation.

    Later, as a UC Berkeley senior lecturer, Ms. Rasky effortlessly moved from the newsroom to the classroom. Ms. Rasky left an imprint on a generation of students, specializing in teaching political and government reporting. Through her mentorship, students were continuously inspired and challenged to ``twist the lens'' and find a more nuanced perspective in journalism. Her teaching was so influential that students began to refer to themselves as ``Rasky-ites'', illustrating their devotion to her and her style of political reporting.

    In addition to her prolific career, Ms. Rasky established and supervised the J-School's California News Service, offering students the opportunity to cover government and politics for news organizations throughout the country. She enjoyed being able to guide younger generations of journalists on how to cover presidential and other campaigns. Even after her students graduated, she was known to advise them well into their professional careers. She will be remembered as a distinguished reporter, a supportive leader, and a dedicated mentor.

    Today, California's 13th Congressional District salutes and honors an outstanding individual and stalwart journalist, Susan Rasky. As a constituent and UC Berkeley professor, Ms. Rasky inspired many future journalists and impacted so many lives throughout the nation. I join all of Susan's loved ones in celebrating her incredible life. She will be deeply missed.

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