Remembering Senator Petris

This Sunday I was honored to celebrate the life of Senator Nicholas Petris at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Ascension. The former Senator died in March, after serving 37 years in the state legislature.

Senator Petris co-sponsored the groundbreaking McAteer-Petris Act, the 1965 law sought by our founders that established the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Save The Bay worked closely with Petris and others to enact this vital legislation, so we were invited by the Ascension Historical Society to speak at the memorial.

Senator Petris among others with Governor Reagan at the signing ceremony for the creation of BCDC.
Senator Petris among others with Governor Reagan at the signing ceremony for the creation of BCDC.

The Senator stands behind Governor Reagan in this photo, as the governor signs this groundbreaking environmental regulation into law.

BCDC was the first coastal-zone management agency in the world, a progressive reform that blazed a path for the California Coastal Commission and many other agencies and organizations dedicated to preserving our natural marine environment.

I was thrilled to meet Nick’s brother, Gus Petris, and to learn about many significant accomplishments of this Oakland native who did so much for his city, the region and the people of the State of California. In her opening remarks, Elaine Moulos, head of the historical society, said out loud what I was thinking: we badly need people like Nicholas Petris in government today.