Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th Governor of California on November 17, 2003. His landslide election as the state’s chief executive follows a distinguished career in business and entertainment. Governor Schwarzenegger has pledged to restore California’s economic strength, rebuild our education system and end politics as usual in Sacramento, so the people’s interest takes center stage. He is confident that by working together, we can Bring California Back. Like many American success stories, Governor Schwarzenegger’s began with hope and hard work.
Arriving in America from Austria at the age of 21, Governor Schwarzenegger has since become one of the most recognizable people in the world. Governor Schwarzenegger has devoted significant time and energy to improving the lives of others, especially children. His lifelong commitment to service, especially health and education programs, includes work for the Special Olympics and California’s Proposition 49 to increase funding for after school programs. Governor Schwarzenegger strongly believes that offering quality after school opportunities will help kids set and reach goals to break the cycle of dashed dreams.
In 1995 Governor Schwarzenegger founded the Inner City Games Foundation (ICG). ICG provides year-round after school and weekend cultural, educational and community enrichment programs for youths. ICG gives kids an alternative to the dead-end choices of drugs, crime and gang membership, and helps them make the right decisions in life.
A recent project of ICG is “Arnold’s All-Stars,” which provides academic and athletic programs for middle schools in California. ICG began in Los Angeles, and because of Governor Schwarzenegger’s tireless nationwide advocacy for the foundation, it is now active in 15 cities around the country, serving 250,000 kids in more than 400 schools. For children growing up in underprivileged environments, ICG instills pride and purpose – and hope for a brighter future. Governor Schwarzenegger championed the After School Education and Safety Act of 2002 (Proposition 49), which was overwhelmingly approved by voters. He authored and chaired the initiative, which is designed to make state grants available to every public middle school in California for quality after school programs.
Among Governor Schwarzenegger’s many public service awards are the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, the Simon Wiesenthal Center “National Leadership Award” for his support of the Center’s Holocaust studies and the Boys and Girls Town “Father Flanagan Service to Youth Award” for his efforts with Inner City Games and Special Olympics.
Governor Schwarzenegger was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 1990 to 1993, and also served as the Chairman for the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.
Through his professional success and community service, Governor Schwarzenegger has embodied the American Dream – for which he is very proud. Throughout his life, he has openly expressed his deep appreciation for the opportunities our great state and country have given him. It is because of this appreciation that Governor Schwarzenegger has always worked to give back to the melting pot that welcomed him.
Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger offers bold and compassionate leadership to California. As Governor, he is dedicated to providing fellow Californians the same promise and opportunity that gave him hope as an immigrant more than three decades ago. Governor Schwarzenegger and his wife of 17 years, broadcast journalist Maria Shriver, have four children – Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher.