Hartmann seeks second term
on Senior Legislature
by Bret Bradigan
If you're a senior citizen and want to be sure that your voice
is heard, May 7 should loom large on your calendar.
That's the election date for the California Senior Legislature,
an advisory group of retirees which proposes and lobbies for
its own slate of senior-related legislation for the state Assembly
Local balloting sites are at Help of Ojai and the Oak View Community
Center. You must be 60 years of age or older to be eligible to
Ojai has been directly represented for the past two years by
long-time educator and volunteer Larry Hartmann, who is seeking
his second term as an assemblyman to the California Senior Legislature.
Hartmann is running for the Senior Assembly from Public Service
Agency No. 18, which coincides with Ventura County. There are
three open seats for the senior legislature - two Assembly posts
and one Senate post.
Senior legislators meet in October to whittle down "dozens,
even hundreds" of legislative bills and proposals for bills
to their top 10. These senior legislators then lobby these bills
to the state Assembly or Senate for, hopefully, passage into
The Senior Legislature also features the Joint Rules Committee
"for people who want to get intricately involved" with
shepherding these senior proposals through the process into law.
Hartmann said it has taken him two years to efficiently navigate
the halls of power in Sacramento, especially since several strange
incidents - the truck crashing into the state Capitol being one,
and heightened security since Sept. 11 - have disrupted the normal
patterns of business.
"There's a lot to learn" he said. "It's not something
you can just walk right into and function."
Hartmann served as a "floor jockey" this year, to aid
the passage of a bill he co-sponsored to reduce the property
tax rates for senior citizens. He is also heavily involved with
Perhaps best known as the principal of Mira Monte School for
many years, Hartmann is the new president of Help of Ojai, and
teaches the popular 55 Alive driving program for senior citizens
from the American Association of Retired Persons.
"I've got a good background in community," he said,
with a host of volunteer positions, including with Search and
Rescue and as United Way organizer. He also used to cut hair
at St. Joseph's Health and Retirement Center.
Hartmann listed his experience in experience in business, real
estate and farming, as important attributes he brings to the
Senior Legislature. But his focus recently has been on senior
citizen issues, he said, "because I am one."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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