Tracy Westen

Pomona was a time of enormous growth for me. I arrived probably too young (just 17), was shy, rarely dated, hung out with a few friends, studied pretty hard and worked at the radio station (KSPC-FM). Four years later, I had tried pretty much everything academically, loved philosophy (my major), became station manager and got into Oxford University. Got my MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford (a bit before Bill Clinton), traveled in Europe, learned German, went to law school (UC Berkeley, loved First Amendment law), lived the “free speech movement” and rock ‘n roll. Practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC., decided private practice wasn’t for me, clerked for FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson, ran a public interest law firm (communications law and First Amendment), started a public interest advertising agency (created “counter commercials”), got married, taught law at UCLA Law School, got divorced, went back to Washington as FTC Deputy Director for Consumer Protection in Carter Administration, came back to California, married Linda Lawson, started the Center for Governmental Studies (, began teaching communications law and policy at USC Annenberg School for Communication, watched the birth of our son Tyler, published a bunch of books and papers on campaign finance, politics and media reform, started several websites (,, and continue to try to invent new Internet-based systems of voter-to-officeholder communication and reform campaign financing systems.

Proudest moments: Marriage to Linda Lawson, birth of son Tyler.

Memorable experiences: winning public citizen awards from Common Cause and League of Women Voters, building our home (, creating California Channel, forming blue-ribbon commissions on campaign finance, state budgeting and higher education.

Important Pomona experience: Being excited by ideas (philosophy), building radio station (from 15 students to 110), making wonderful friends

Favorite profs: Will Jones (amazing humanistic mind, loved to laugh, even loved to be proven wrong), Robert Fogelin (great teacher) – both in philosophy

Plans: building new Internet-based video systems of political participation, learning more about art, architecture and music, loving Linda and Tyler.

Linda, Tyler, and Tracy Westen