WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Former long-time East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, who represented the Livermore area and served as a University of California Regent, has died, according to her family. She was 67.
In a Twitter post, Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Tauscher’s passing as a “loss for us all.”
“The passing of Ellen Tauscher is a loss for us all,” she wrote. “Ellen was brilliant, gracious and generous and always did her level best to lift up those around her. She’ll always be remembered.”
In a statement, the Tauscher family said: “Ellen died peacefully surrounded by her loving daughter, Katherine, and the rest of her family.”
Tauscher began her professional career in the financial world on Wall Street.
“As the youngest and one of the first women to hold a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, Ellen broke barriers for generations of women that followed her into the male-dominated world of finance,” the family said. “She was the author of the Childcare Sourcebook in the 1990’s and founded the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers.”
Tauscher — who had moved to the Bay Area — decided to test the political waters and chaired Feinstein’s successful 1992 and 1994 Senate campaigns.
‘“When Ellen put her mind to politics, she was a force,” Feinstein said in a statement. “She chaired my first two Senate campaigns, and soon after went on to win her own seat in Congress where she served for 12 years.”
She decided to make her own bid for office in 1996, running against two-term Republican incumbent Bill Baker for the 10th congressional district in the East Bay.
“In 1996, Ellen ran and won an historic election for Congress, winning a Republican seat that no one thought a Democrat would win that year,” the family statement said. “In the House, she chaired the Strategic Forces subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, among other leadership positions. Public service was her calling, and there was no job she loved more than representing the people of Contra Costa, Alameda, and Solano counties for seven terms in Congress.”
She then was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in 2009.
“As we came to expect from Ellen, she tackled the job with her trademark gusto by completing negotiations of the New START treaty with the Russians and working for non-proliferation around the world,” the statement said.
After three years at the State Department, working under Secretary Hillary Clinton, Tauscher retired from public service in an official capacity.
“It’s been said that God created humans because he loves the stories,” the family said. “And Lord knows, Ellen’s were among some of the most remarkable stories of survival and strength, of living to the fullest and giving to others with every ounce of her strength. Those stories will live on inside the broken hearts of her friends and family on whom she has left on an indelible mark. Ellen came and made a difference in the lives of her neighbors and perfect strangers who trusted Ellen with their votes and their futures.”
More information on memorial services will be forthcoming.