Emily ‘Emy’ Thurber Named Woman of the Year for the 13th State Senate District

March 05, 2019

For Immediate Release – Office of State Senator Jerry Hill – March 5, 2019
Updated 3/14/2019 to correct attribution of Ms. Thurber's introduction in the Senate.

Emily ‘Emy’ Thurber Named Woman of the Year for the 13th State Senate District
 

SACRAMENTO – Los Altos resident Emily ‘Emy’ Thurber, who has devoted more than 50 years to public service and women’s leadership in her community, has been named the 2019 Woman of the Year for the 13th Senate District by state Senator Jerry Hill.

Ms. Thurber was honored Monday at the Capitol in ceremonies conducted by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus to celebrate the Women of Year selected by legislative representatives throughout the state.

“Emy embodies the spirit and dedication for which so many citizens of 13th Senate District are known,” said state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. “I am proud to name Emy Thurber as the district’s Woman of the Year.”

Leaders of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus welcomed Ms. Thurber to the Senate chamber and read a short list of her many accomplishments as Senator Hill escorted her to the Senate floor, an event captured on video. Senate staff introduced her saying, “Emily ‘Emy’ Thurber has dedicated a lifetime to public service and women’s leadership.”

Ms. Thurber served as a staff member for Senator Alan Cranston in Washington, D.C., where she worked on foreign and military affairs, and developed a strong appreciation for the preservation of the environment. At the time, her late husband, Jim, was working in nation’s capital as a member of the U.S. Information Agency. She brought her experience to California after her spouse retired.

Here, Ms. Thurber became president of the Sempervirens Fund, the state’s oldest land trust, which was instrumental in the creation of California’s first state park, Big Basin Redwoods.

Sempervirens joined four other conservation groups and three foundations to acquire the 8,532-acre Cemex Redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, now known as the San Vicente Redwoods. Ms. Thurber was a leader in the organizations’ joint vision to create the Great Park, a larger effort uniting 27,000 acres, including the San Vicente Redwoods, to protect wildlife habitats, the watershed and the environmental and cultural native places of the Amah Muntsen people. She still serves on the Sempervirens Fund’s development committee to help realize the vision.

Ms. Thurber also served on the board of the Midpeninsula YWCA. She joined the fledgling Los Altos Community Foundation board and now, more than two decades later, still serves on its grants committee. She chaired the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women from 2004 to 2005. She received a humanitarian award from the county’s Human Relations Commission in 2005. Ms. Thurber also is a founding member of the Los Altos Women’s Caucus.

Accompanying her to the celebration Monday were her son, James Thurber III, and daughter-in-law, Debra McGibbon, of Mountain View and her daughter, Harriette Rasmussen, and grandson, Alex, of Oregon.

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The video of Ms Thurber’s introduction in the Senate can be viewed here:
https://youtu.be/D8e-NuPHoDA
Video courtesy of the Senate Majority Caucus

Emily “Emy” Thurber of Los Altos, the 2019 Woman of the Year in California’s 13th State Senate District, with state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. – Monday, March 4, 2019, in the state Capitol. Photograph by Senate Photographer Lorie Shelley.

At the dais of the California Senate, from left, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Senator Jerry Hill, the 13th Senate District’s Woman of the Year Emily “Emy” Thurber, Senator Shannon Grove and Senator Connie M. Leyva, chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. Photograph by Senate Photographer Lorie Shelley.

 

 

Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, 415-298-3404, leslie.guevarra@sen.ca.gov