Mike Gage, former deputy mayor of Los Angeles, assembly member, president of the Metropolitan Water District and DWP, rafting guide, electric car pioneer and “gentleman farmer”, died Monday after a long battle with cancer . He was 76 years old.
Gage took an unconventional path, rejecting a third term in the Assembly to lead river expeditions around the world before taking a major role in the Los Angeles government. He also briefly worked as a reporter for NBC4 in Los Angeles.
Former Governor Jerry Brown, who worked with Gage on major legislation, called him a “force of nature – always exploring, never narrow.”
“As a lawmaker, seasoned and lifelong explorer, he exuded pure energy and vitality. In my first term as governor, he helped me pass the law that gave farm workers the right to join a union, ”Brown told City News Service. “He left his mark – on me and on everyone he met.”
Gage was born in Glendale and raised in Napa. He was elected to the Napa Assembly in 1976 and re-elected in 1978.
According to a longtime friend, Gage decided against a third term, so he could become a whitewater rafting guide. He has led expeditions to Alaska, the Grand Canyon, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Chile, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
He was then Deputy Mayor of Tom Bradley in Los Angeles for over two years, starting in 1987. Bradley also appointed him to the MWD Board of Directors and to the Department of Water and Water Commission. Los Angeles electricity. At one point, Gage chaired both supervisory boards at the same time.
He was also president of CALSTART, a non-profit organization that promotes the development of clean energy solutions, including electric vehicles.
Gage died at his home in Salem, Oregon. He and his wife Lacy moved there several years ago because Gage had always wanted to own and manage a small organic farm, according to the friend.
Before moving to Oregon, he and his wife lived in Ecuador for almost a year, so Gage could hone his Spanish skills.
Before launching his political career, Gage was an army paratrooper and then worked in a logging camp in Alaska.
Besides his wife, Gage is survived by his son Damon and his stepdaughter Cindi, his sister Judy Cook, three stepchildren and six granddaughters.