In Recognition of Barbara Pierceby Representative Jackie Speier
Posted on 2015-12-08
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Barbara Pierce for her 16
years of outstanding service on the City Council of Redwood City,
including one term as Mayor and one term as Vice Mayor. Barbara is the
consummate public servant, never tiring of looking for ways to improve
the city and the quality of life of its residents.
During her four terms on the council, she served on many committees and represented Redwood City before many organizations--most of them as chair at one point--including the Peninsula Division of the League of California Cities, the League Housing Community Economic Development Committee, C/CAG's Congestion Management Environmental Quality Committee, the Bay Area Water Supply Conservation Agency, the Resource Management Climate Protection Committee, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Redwood City 2020 Coordinating Council, the Grand Boulevard Task Force and the Bair Island Task Force.
Conservation and environmental protection are core values of Barbara Pierce. She is the spiritual leader of Redwood City's purple pipes project that brought recycled water to Redwood Shores long before our drought made water conservation a necessity. At first, it wasn't easy educating the public about the need to use recycled wastewater, but Barbara's persistent and earnest efforts persuaded the public to choose wisdom in the use of resources over skepticism based upon ignorance. The experiment began in 2000 but really took off in 2007 when the city expanded the pipes throughout Redwood Shores through pump stations. The recycled water project saves hundreds of millions of gallons of drinking water each year, and leaves Redwood Shores as one of the few areas of green landscaping during the current drought.
Barbara has played a significant role in just about every modern decision and process that has shaped Redwood City and made its vibrant downtown a reality. She played a leadership role in the creation of Courthouse Square, the restoration of the entry to the San Mateo County History Museum, Theatre Way and the retail cinema complex. She was also instrumental in the building of the Redwood Shores Library and the Redwood Shores Child Care Center. She worked hard to address traffic congestion, housing, climate change, water supply, and public safety issues, and to build a successful and sustainable community. Her secret to success is collaboration. She strives to work with members of the community and to find a way for everyone to win.
Her ethic of conservation is a direct consequence of her concern about future generations. In addition to her council duties, Barbara led efforts for 25 years at the Redwood City Education Foundation and saved an outdoor education program and created a music program for 3,500 students.
She has served on the board of the San Mateo County Historical Association, the Community Emergency Response Team, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Group and ARTS RWC. She is also a long- time Girl Scout leader, classroom volunteer and site council member. Barbara has a big heart and her love of Redwood City is only secondary to her love of her family.
She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. She graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from Moravian College and Catholic University of America, respectively.
[[Page E1729]] Thirty-five years ago she and her husband Jerry made Redwood City their home. They have two grown daughters, Andrea Koenig and Amanda Pierce, both of whom have made them very proud.
Mr. Speaker, I ask the House of Representatives to rise with me to honor Barbara Pierce for her unwavering commitment to the residents of Redwood City. A compassionate steward of the interests of children and the environment, a stalwart supporter of strong public safety services, and a woman who dedicated tens of thousands of hours of her personal time to the interests of others, Barbara is now leaving for some well- deserved rest. It is beyond her ability, however, to simply retire, and retirement for Barbara Pierce will likely involve watching her former council colleagues on the local community access channel rather than being there in person. Barbara Pierce never earned an Emmy for her performance on the City Council, but she earned the love and respect of her community, an award that counts for much more than a statue, and an award that will echo throughout generations yet to come.