Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Assemblyman Cook Honored by Boy Scouts

California Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) shares a word with Perris Mayor Daryl Busch at the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of 2011 Awards Ceremony
California Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) shares a word with Perris Mayor Daryl Busch at the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen of 2011 Awards Ceremony.

State Assemblyman Paul Cook, who has championed the protection of children in his time as a legislator, was honored as the Distinguished Citizen of 2011 by the Boy Scouts of America.

Cook (R-Yucca Valley) is a retired Marine Corps colonel who was wounded twice while serving as an infantry officer in Vietnam. In 2006, he was elected to the 65th Assembly District, which includes Perris.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, who lives in the City, attended the award ceremony and praised Cook for his support for protecting children from sexual predators and for fighting to prevent the State of California from raiding redevelopment funds from cities, including Perris.

“They’re honoring the right person,” Busch said. “It’s a great occasion for a great purpose, to honor a military veteran who also has worked as a public servant.”

Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff congratulates Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) at the Awards Ceremony (Photo by Steve Jacobs)
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff congratulates Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) at the Awards Ceremony (Photo by Steve Jacobs).

Ashley, who received the same honor from the Boy Scouts in 2010, called Cook a “hero of the Marine Corps and civic service.”

“Few people have the moral caliber, work ethic and concern for others that Paul Cook has,” Ashley said.
Cook said he served with the Boys Scouts as a kid growing up in Connecticut and was “very honored” to be named Citizen of the Year by the Five Nations District, which includes Perris, Moreno Valley, Homeland, Romoland and Nuevo.

“I have the highest respect for the Boy Scouts,” Cook said. “This award is special. Boys Scouts are productive members of society whose values never change. This is an organization that brings a lot to the table. I’m in awe and surprised they picked me.”

Cook is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University and completed graduate work in political science at UC Riverside and public administration at California State University, San Bernardino. He has taught history, political science and public administration courses at several colleges and universities in California and elsewhere.

Cook is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.  He has served as Chair of the Assembly Veterans Committee and was elected unanimously as chair of the Inland Empire Caucus. He and his wife, Jeanne, reside in Yucca Valley.

The Distinguished Citizens Dinner also served as a fund-raiser for the Boy Scouts. The event took place Sept. 16 at the Moreno Valley Conference Center.