Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
She was a living example of “the Reagan Revolution,” a woman whose life was turned around by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and who committed the rest of her days to helping fellow Californians see the light of conservative causes.
Barbara Alby, who passed away this week at the age of 66, was a former California assemblywoman, a GOP champion, a steadfast opponent of higher taxes and a noteworthy advocate for protecting women and children from domestic violence, a cause borne from her own experience.
“Forty years ago I was a welfare mom, living that quality of life,” Alby wrote in a Sacramento Bee column in May 2010. “My defining moment was when Ronald Reagan became governor. Within a few months he cut my benefits. I didn’t like him much back then, but he made me look at my little girl and say to myself, ‘Mommy has to make some new choices.’”
And make new choices she did.
Alby earned her political stripes as a radio talk-show host with “Statewatch,” where she used the airwaves to build an army to promote conservative public policy and elect true conservatives to public office.
As a state legislator she sponsored and authored California’s Parental Consent for Minor Children’s Abortions as well as her landmark legislation to protect women and children from sexual predators, “California Megan’s Law.” Each year that she served in the state Assembly, Alby was named “Tax Fighter of the Year” by the National Taxpayer Limitation Committee.
As a state Republican leader, she represented the California GOP for 12 years on the Republican National Committee and was three times elected vice president of the California Republican Assembly, a volunteer organization dedicated to electing candidates who stand unwaveringly for Republican principles and called by Reagan “the conscience of the Republican Party.”
Alby and Greg Hardcastle were also the principal founders of the Sacramento Republican Assembly.
“Barbara Alby was one of my mentors when I took over the Sacramento Union in 1990,” said Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of WND. “She was a gifted political strategist and a wonderful friend.”
California GOP Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro issued a statement upon her death saying, “The California Republican Party has lost a dear friend with the passing of Barbara Alby. Barbara served our party in many roles including assemblywoman, acting member of the (state) Board of Equalization and as our longtime national committeewoman to the Republican National Committee. … Barbara’s life reminds us that it’s not only important to have strong beliefs but to act upon those beliefs. We should all keep her and her family in our prayers.”