A Hall of Fame list worthy of the honor
By Editorial Board
Published on September 13, 2011on Page 16A
Here’s another welcome improvement in the change of administrations: The first picks by Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Ann Gust Brown for the California Hall of Fame
The Browns’ eclectic first class honors a much broader range of accomplishment.
• Elizabeth Blackburn, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for medicine for helping discover a key enzyme in cancer and aging research.
• Father Gregory Boyle, a Los Angeles community activist who in response to the 1992 Rodney King riots founded what became Homeboy Industries, a national model for gang intervention.
• The late Ed Roberts, a disability rights advocate who founded the first Center for Independent Living and ran the state Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in Brown’s first administration.
• The late Roger Traynor, the esteemed state Supreme Court justice who in his 30 years on the bench wrote more than 900 decisions, including far-reaching ones on social justice.
These are not exactly household names, but their achievements have had lasting, positive impact on Californians.
The list announced Friday, expanding the Hall of Fame to 73 members, does include some well-known names: astronaut Buzz Aldrin, surf rock legends the Beach Boys, Gap. Inc. founders and philanthropists Doris and Douglas Fisher, NBA icon Magic Johnson, guitar pioneer Carlos Santana and novelist Amy Tan.
But on the whole, the Browns’ choices are less heavy on Hollywood types and other celebrities than the inductees selected by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, who started the annual Hall of Fame induction in 2006.
The Browns have also switched the venue for the induction ceremony. Instead of the glitzy red-carpet event at the California Museum favored by Schwarzenegger and Shriver, the current governor and first lady will host their event on Dec. 8 at Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium. That will allow many more average folks to attend, an encouraging change as well.
The Bee’s past stands
“To truly reflect and recognize the greatness and uniqueness of California, can’t we reach beyond the usual suspects? Can’t we recognize more unsung heroes with deeper roots in their state, more lesser-known people in vocations that don’t get as much publicity?” – December 15, 2010