LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Full Biography for Fortney Pete Stark
Congressman Pete Stark has represented the 13th Congressional District of California since 1973. A senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Stark was Chairman of its Health Subcommittee between 1985 and 1994 and is currently ranking minority member on the Subcommittee.
Stark, a successful businessman and former banker, was first elected to Congress in 1972. He served on the House Banking and Currency Committee. After completing his second term, Stark was named to the Ways and Means Committee, whose scope includes taxes, Medicare, Social Security, trade and public assistance.
While Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, Stark became known as one of the nation's foremost advocates of tax reform and served a critical role in shaping the 1986 historic tax reform law. He has been a constant voice for tax fairness and in opposition to corporate loopholes in the income tax laws.
Stark first assumed the Chairmanship of the Health Subcommittee in January 1985. He presided over major reforms in the Medicare system. While cutting billions of dollars in excessive and wasteful outlays, Stark has been able to expand benefits for the 38 million beneficiaries, provide COBRA health continuation benefits to younger workers, and make numerous improvements in the quality of the nation's health care. He continues to fight for universal health coverage.
Stark also currently serves as the senior Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee. Under Stark's direction, the Joint Economic Committee has produced reports for policymakers on current topics such as minimum wage increases, the economic impact of the government shutdown, and the effects of the Balanced Budget Amendment on seniors and low-income Americans.
Throughout his career in Congress, Stark has been a consistant advocate for peace, freedom of choice, and preserving our environment. He has been a tireless advocate for children, the elderly and the disabled as well as for the workers of the 13th Congressional District.
The 13th Congressional District is a diverse area stretching along the east side of the San Francisco Bay from Oakland to San Jose.
Stark is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in engineering and the University of California, Berkeley with a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA).
In 1963, he founded Security National Bank in Walnut Creek. The bank grew from a small storefront operation to a $100 million financial institution with branches in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Stark sold his interest in the bank after his election to Congress.
A veteran, Stark served in the Air Force. Stark's community, church, and civic activities have included: Director, Common Cause; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Starr King School of Ministry; Board Member, Housing Development Corporation; Board Member, Council for Civic Unity, and many others.
Stark was born November 11, 1931. He has three daughters, two sons, and eight grandchildren. He is married to Deborah Roderick Stark of San Lorenzo
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