Assemblymember Sam Blakeslee
Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, was elected to the California State Assembly in 2004 to represent the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the coastal communities of Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Arroyo…
Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, was elected to the California State Assembly in 2004 to represent the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the coastal communities of Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Atascadero, Paso Robles, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, and Guadalupe. He was re-elected by overwhelming margins in 2006 and 2008.
Since his election, Assemblyman Blakeslee has compiled an impressive record of bipartisan legislative accomplishments on behalf of his Central Coast constituents. During his first year in office, he had more bills signed into law than any other freshman Republican. In his second year, he had more bills signed into law than any Republican Assembly Member. Last session, he had more bills signed into law than any Republican lawmaker (Assembly or Senate).
Known as one of the Legislature's most bipartisan members, Assemblyman Blakeslee's legislative achievements include work on job creation, government reform, renewable energy, agriculture, conservation, health care, public safety, disabled rights, consumer protection, and seismic safety.
A research geophysicist by training, Blakeslee has applied his background as a scientist to advance policies addressing energy independence, long-range energy planning and resource conservation.
In 2008, Blakeslee founded E3, the Assembly Republican Task Force on Energy, the Environment and the Economy. E3 seeks to develop reasonable and innovative strategies for growing our economy while remaining stewards of our environment. The E3 approach seeks to advance the rapid development of emerging technologies and remove the barriers that prevent the emergence of new markets. Blakeslee's work with E3 was recognized and celebrated by the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters in their 2008 Legislative wrap ups.
In 2009, Blakeslee was elected by his Republican colleagues to serve as Assembly Minority Leader. In this role he served as chief negotiator for Assembly Republicans and a member of the "Big 5" group of legislative leaders that reaches final agreement on key issues such as the state budget.
As Minority Leader, Blakeslee negotiated a budget that significantly reduced state spending, did not raise taxes, and included significant reforms. Blakeslee was a chief negotiator of the historic bipartisan water agreement which will provide greater water supply and will promote our equal goals of economic development and environmental sustainability. He also led the effort that blocked the most dangerous elements of the early release proposal, as well as defeating the creation of a sentencing commission that would weaken California's public safety laws.
Blakeslee was named "Freshman of the Year" by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, Legislator of the Year by the California Police Chiefs Association, Outstanding Legislator by the California State Sheriffs Association, was honored by People First of SLO and Tri-Counties Association for Developmental Disabilities for his advocacy on behalf of those with disabilities, and received statewide honors for his work on behalf of staff safety at Atascadero State Hospital.
Assemblyman Blakeslee grew up on the Central Coast and attended public schools. He graduated from San Luis Obispo High School and then began a career in construction. Years later, he returned to school and attended Cuesta Community College, where his father, Earle Blakeslee, taught music when the college first opened in 1965. He later earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in geophysics from University of California, Berkeley. Furthering his education, Assemblyman Blakeslee earned a Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara for his research in seismic scattering, micro-earthquake studies, and fault-zone attenuation. He is published in numerous scientific journals.
After graduating with a Ph.D., Assemblyman Blakeslee worked as a research scientist at Exxon's research lab in Texas, where he received a patent for inventing an innovative technique that used medical cat-scan technology to create detailed images of geologic formations. Later, he moved into management and became a Strategic Planner, where he was responsible for creating and managing Exxon budgets.
Upon returning to the Central Coast, Assemblyman Blakeslee assumed the role of President of the family business, the investment firm Blakeslee & Blakeslee, which was founded in 1971. He applied the lessons he learned at Exxon to strengthen and grow the business by introducing state-of-the-art technologies and systematizing the advancement of high client-service standards. Blakeslee is a Certified Financial Planner, a Registered Securities Principal, and a Registered Municipals Principal. He continues to serve as president of the company, although he has reduced his involvement due to his responsibilities as Assemblyman for the 33rd Assembly District.
Prior to his election to the Legislature, Assemblyman Blakeslee served on a number of boards - most notably as an elected two-term Trustee for Cuesta Community College. Cuesta Community College is an institution that is known as one of the top-achieving community colleges in the state.
In 1999, Assemblyman Blakeslee authored the successful DREAM Initiative. Passing by 75%, the DREAM Initiative was a countywide advisory ballot measure that sought to create a long-term vision for the future of PG&E's 12 mile scenic coastline known as the Diablo Canyon Lands.
Assemblyman Blakeslee was honored with winning San Luis Obispo's Chamber of Commerce Leadership Alumni Award in 2000. In 2001, he received the Rhode's leadership award from the League of Women Voters. Additionally, he served on the President's Advisory Board of St. Joe's High School in Santa Maria.
Assemblyman Blakeslee is married to Kara. Kara graduated from Cal Poly and earned her law degree from Duke University. She served as a Senate Fellow at the state capitol for Senator John Garamendi. Upon moving to San Luis Obispo she worked as the Central Coast project director for The Nature Conservancy. She was responsible for negotiating, raising funds for, and closing conservation agreements with willing sellers on properties exceeding 19,000 acres, including the Guidetti Ranch on the southern border of San Luis Obispo, South Chimineas Ranch in the Carissa Plains, Cambria Coast Ranch on the North Coast, and various properties in the Irish Hills.
In 2002, Kara joined the American Land Conservancy and worked toward the successful completion of the landmark Hearst Ranch conservation project which created a new eighteen mile coastal state park and protected over 82,000 scenic acres for habitat preservation and agricultural activities. The Hearst Ranch Conservation Agreement also earned the state's top environmental achievement award. Kara subsequently became the Chair of ALC's Board of Directors.
Since 2004, Kara has worked as a licensed financial planner, principal, and officer for the Central Coast investment firm, Blakeslee & Blakeslee. Kara still volunteers for American Land Conservancy. She is serving as the Project Director for ALC's Wild Cherry Canyon conservation project, which would increase the size of Monatana De Oro State Park by 65% and link the State Park to Avila Beach.
Sam and Kara have two school aged daughters, both of whom attend local public schools, and a son working toward his Ph.D. in Economics at Columbia University. The family lives in San Luis Obispo.