Statement of California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton on Passing of State Senator Nicholas Petris

California Democrats today mourn the loss of Senator Nicholas Petris. I had the honor of serving with Nick in the legislature and will remember him first and foremost as a humanitarian and a good man.

Nick was a champion for causes that most others overlooked. He fought for the rights of farmworkers, for low-income families and for mental health patients.

He authored legislation banning smoking on planes, buses and trains and was responsible for the Birth Defects Prevention Act, which required pesticide companies to first test their products to determine whether or not they had the potential to cause birth defects. 

He was the last of the giants and a true great orator in the style of the ancient Greek senators.

Without exaggeration we are all better off because of the work of Nick Petris. His passing is a tremendous loss for all Californians.

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