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The Story Of The Brown Family Is The Story Of California

California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, accompanied by California Attorney General...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, accompanied by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, listens to a question concerning remarks made U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Story Of The Brown Family


Miriam Pawel, author, "The Browns Of California"


Miriam Pawel appears at Warwicks Books in La Jolla

Tonight, 7:30 p.m.

Just as Gov. Jerry Brown is winding down his fourth and final term as governor of California, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Miriam Pawel is out with "The Browns of California," an exploration of his legacy and that of his father, former Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.

From 1959 to 1967, Pat Brown launched several major initiatives in his two terms. The California Master Plan for Higher Education (tuition-free for California residents) endures today, albeit with significant changes.

Pat Brown was also responsible for a radical change in the state's water distribution system. In the 1960s, most of the population was in the south, which had the least water. The central valley, too, was parched, which threatened agriculture. The infrastructure attached to his California State Water Project leveled the water table a bit.

Pat's son Jerry is coming to the end of his second two-term shift. During the first, 1975 to 1983, he became known for fiscal conservatism, an interest in the environment, opposition to the death penalty and Proposition 13 and an early decision to run for president.

He never really left politics and was elected governor again in 2011. He has moved the state forward on mitigating climate change at every chance. His fiscal restraint has been noticeable, with the exception of two ambitious projects which have not yet been realized: the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build tunnels to carry water from the Sacramento River to distribution centers, and the high-speed rail project.

Miriam Pawel talks about "The Browns Of California" with KPBS Midday Edition.

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