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wiggins.JPGFormer Democratic legislator Patricia "Pat" Wiggins, who championed smart growth and the use of alternative energy sources, died Thursday. She was 73.

Wiggins was on the Santa Rosa City Council before she was elected to the California Assembly in 1998. She served in the state Senate from 2006 to 2010, when she did not seek reelection due to an undisclosed medical condition.

Lawmakers praised Wiggins in statements noting her death, calling her a dedicated legislator who took on tough issues.

"I will always remember Pat as a gracious, thoughtful and visionary public servant, but more importantly, a reliable and trusted friend," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

"Pat Wiggins was one of the Legislature's leading advocates for policies that encourage smart growth and discourage sprawl," said Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. "She also cared deeply about the people she represented and the state of California."

"Pat Wiggins will be missed," said Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael. "She was an enthusiastic leader on the environment, local government issues, and smart growth in the state Capitol. She also had a great passion and tenacity in representing her community. "

Wiggins is survived by her husband, Guy Conner; two stepsons, Steve Silverman of Scottsdale, Ariz., and James Silverman of Owings Mills, Md.; and her four grandchildren, Shane, Ava, Leah and Solana.

A celebration of her life will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the Friedman Center in Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Sonoma Land Trust, or to the Pat Wiggins Fund at Conservation Action Fund for Education.

PHOTO: Then Assemblywoman Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, unveils a constitutional amendment on local funding for sheriff, police and fire departments on April 9, 2003. The Sacramento Bee / Brian Baer



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