Omer Rains Biography
Eco-Entrepreneur & Humanist
Past Chairman of the Board | (READ)
Rural Education and Development (READ) Global
Managing Member/Director | The Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan Venture Capital Fund
Chief International Advisor | Save The Heart Everest 2013
Omer Rains | Websites
Omer Rains | Official Website
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Omer L. Rains received his B.A. (Political Science), his Bachelor of Law degree, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California at Berkeley. Although he no longer engages in a conventional practice of law, he did for many years and his professional ratings are the highest attainable for both “legal ability” and for “faithful adherence to ethical standards and professional reliability.” As a result of his activity in a variety of civic affairs, before reaching the age of 30 Rains received the “Distinguished Service Award” as his community’s “Outstanding Citizen.” Those early community activities included helping to establish a youth employment service, a free legal clinic, a “hotline”, a drug treatment center, and a medical program for the aged and infirm. He also served as Chairman of the Ventura (California) Planning Commission and as Chairman of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Commission of California. His early involvements also included the American Civil Rights movement and work in numerous other planning and environmental causes, groups and related organizations, most of which he represented as an attorney on a pro bono basis.
At age 32, Omer was elected to serve the first of three terms in the California Senate representing approximately one million people in the Central Coast Area of California (principally the Counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura). In that capacity, among other positions, he served as Chairman of the Senate Majority Caucus (the youngest in State history), as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Political Reform.
As one of the leading environmentalists in the California Legislature, Rains was the principal architect of container deposit legislation (commonly known as the “Bottle Bill”). As a gubernatorial appointee to the State Geothermal Resources Task Force and the Solar Cal Council, he pioneered legislation encouraging the development and use of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass conversion, cogeneration, and developing ocean technologies. He also authored legislation to purchase beach property for public use, secured passage of an historic measure to protect the California deserts by preventing the “piracy” of California’s native plants, and enacted legislation to prevent strip-mining in the National and State Forests.
Steeped in the civil rights movement, Rains also served as Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Committee on Legal Equality, at that time the only legislative committee in the United States established to address legal inequality between the sexes. In that capacity he developed a comprehensive package of 68 bills which allowed the cause of women’s rights to successfully advance in California from one of discussion to one of action. As a result of his efforts to amend and repeal various sections of the California Codes that discriminated on the basis of sex, California became the first state in the nation to conform its laws to the “Equal Rights Amendment.” In recognition of this fact, the President of the National Women’s Political Caucus stated that “Senator Omer Rains has done more to advance the cause of women’s rights and equality under the law than any legislator in California history.”
Having served as Jimmy Carter’s California State Chair and Western States Co-Chair during Carter’s Presidential campaigns, and having thereafter become involved in many of the former President’s key projects, Rains has served as an international elections monitor/observer in succeeding years. He also served as an advisor to the South African Constitutional Revision Commission at the request of then President Nelson Mandela.As a prominent attorney, financier and investment advisor with extensive experience in all major world markets and finance centers, Rains has engaged in business throughout the world in addition to his California/Nevada (Lake Tahoe) and New York bases. Also, for many years he maintained permanent offices in Geneva, Switzerland and had satellite offices in several other international cities.
The Marshall Plan Venture Capital Fund, L.P. (“TMP”) was established in 2000 as a Delaware Limited Partnership. Along with Rains, prior to her untimely death the company also had as one of its general partner’s Greta Marshall, formerly Chief Investment Officer of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS). Under Greta’s guidance, CalPERS became the world’s largest public pension fund.
Since the inception of TMP, Rains has served as its Managing Member and President. Given his international business background and lifelong commitment to just and sustainable business development, TMP has created a niche that is unique in the Venture Capital community:
- Accepting the fact that helping to change the world often requires taking risk, projects are generally confined to sustainable business opportunities in lesser developed countries where financing would otherwise be unavailable.
- Money is packaged in US Dollars, Euros, Pound Sterling, Swiss Francs, Yen and/or other hard currencies in a target-specific manner only as and when needed.
- In addition to private equity, projects can and usually do also involve working with various international agencies, often located in Washington D.C., Geneva, Switzerland and/or European Union entities generally located in London, Brussels, or Strasbourg.
- Whenever institutional financing is also involved, “Sovereign Guarantees” are sought from countries in which projects are to be located.
- A condition precedent to any project is that the client or moving party be committed to providing just and sustainable business opportunities for indigenous peoples, especially women and ethnic minorities.
- All projects must have an environmental component and projects will not be undertaken unless all involved parties have a heightened sense of social and environmental awareness.
- A significant percentage of all TMP profit is committed to humanitarian and philanthropic causes, often to promote literacy, civil rights and the prevention of disease in the developing world.
When not engaged in activities for The Marshall Plan, much of Rains’ current time is spent working with indigenous peoples, primarily in lesser developed nations. Among other humanitarian endeavors, he served as Chairman of the International Board of Director’s of Rural Education and Development (READ) Global. READ has thus far built over 50 libraries and economic development centers in rural and remote areas of Nepal, India, and Bhutan, all countries in which Rains spends much of his time. Having received recognition from several charitable and philanthropic organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s ”Access to Learning” award (accompanied by a $3,000,000 grant), READ will be taking its program into five more countries in the developing world in the next three years. For his humanitarian work in Nepal and India, Rains has been the recipient of the “Summit Society’s Annapurna Award.”
Rains has also agreed to serve as the Chief International Advisor of the Save the Heart Everest (2013) Expedition. This historic expedition of close to a thousand miles on foot will start at sea level in Bangladesh and over a two-month period cross Bangladesh, India, and Nepal before culminating on the summit of Mt. Everest at 29,035 ft. Six experienced mountaineers will form a core team and carry a flag with seven messages spreading heart health awareness and happiness to the world. For more information, please visit Save The Heart Everest 2013 or the Save The Heart Everest Official Website.
Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, Rains is also the recipient of several academic and professional awards. He is a frequent lecturer on International Business and Finance, and is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Back To The Summit (BTTS), as well as authoring several other published articles of distinction. He has also served as Judge Pro Tempore on both the Superior Court and the Municipal Court in California.
With a passion for adventure and the outdoors, Rains’ travels have taken him to over 120 countries and every region of the world. His adventures, exploits and willingness to stretch his physical and mental limits are well known. They include, among others: airplane wing walking, fire walking, Brahma bull riding, white water rafting, sky-diving, paragliding, mountaineering, jungle exploration, bungee jumping, spelunking, hot air ballooning, cobra dancing, glacier and rock climbing, and bronco busting. He has also participated in international archaeological and scientific expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic region, and to various parts of Asia, South America, North America, and Europe. He has also summited a number of the great mountains of the world. Biographical Sketch, Omer L. Rains California Senator (ret.)
Committees and other Legislative Positions Held During Three Senatorial Terms:
Chairman, Senate Majority Caucus
Chairman, Senate Business and Professions Committee
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman, Subcommittee on the Administration of Justice
Chairman, Joint Committee on Revision of the Penal Code
Chairman, Subcommittee on Board of Prison Terms
Chairman, Elections and Reapportionment Committee
Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Political Reform
Chairman, Select Committee on Government Regulation
Chairman, Joint Legislative Committee on Legal Equality
Vice-Chairman, Joint Committee for Revision of the Elections Code
Vice-Chairman, Public Utilities and Energy Committee
Member, Subcommittee on Energy and Power Plant Siting
Member, Committee on Banking and Commerce
Member, Transportation Committee
Member, Subcommittee on Motor Vehicles Inspection
Member, Senate Committee on Insurance and Financial Institutions
Member, Senate Local Government Committee
Member, Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee
Member, Constitutional Amendments Committee
Member, Fairs Allocation and Classification Committee
Member, Maritime Industry Committee
Member, Joint Rules Committee
Senate Representative, State Judicial Council
Senate Representative, California Law Revision Commission
Member, Commission of the California’s
Member, SolarCal Council
Member, Geothermal Resources Task Force
Member, Inter-agency Oil Tanker Task Force
Member, Statehouse Conference on Aging
National Conference of State Legislatures-Member, States and the Arts Committee
Member, Regulatory Improvement Committee
Senate Representative, Executive Board, California Democratic Party
University of California (Berkeley) B.A. in Political Science (1963)
University of California School of Law, Berkeley (Boalt Hall); Bachelor of Law and Doctor of Jurisprudence (1966)