|Prime Minister of Sierra|
October 3, 2017 – October 18, 2017
|Preceded by||Daniel McComb|
|Succeeded by||Nemesis Heartwell|
|Deputy Prime Minister of Sierra|
December 16, 2016 – October 3, 2017
Elizabeth I (2000-05)|
Charles II (2005-12)
|Preceded by||Preston Bolivar|
|Succeeded by||Alexander Lee|
January 1, 2000 – January 1, 2012
|Preceded by||Dick Shae|
|Succeeded by||Sharon Durant|
|Attorney General of Kings|
April 3, 1995 – October 16, 1999
|Preceded by||Ricky Cleary|
|Succeeded by||Zachary Palatucci|
|Dean of the Frémont and Pico Hall School of Law at the University of Kings, Santa Barbara|
September 11, 1986 – May 26, 1994
|Preceded by||Jonah Wallace|
|Succeeded by||Cathy Patel|
May 5, 1933|
Pismo Beach, KI, Sierra
January 28, 2021 (aged 87)|
San Luis Obispo, KI, Sierra
|Alma mater||University of Kings, Santa Barbara|
Born in Pismo Beach, Steele worked as an intern for MP Jack Roberts, a Royalist in her district at the age of 17. She is a 1960 graduate from the University of Kings, Santa Barbara, where she earned a J.D. in law at the Frémont and Pico Hall School of Law. She practiced law with a local law firm starting in 1966, and then independently in 1975 with a focus on civil rights and employment law. Steele began teaching law at her old university in 1980 and chaired the law school, before being elected as Dean in 1986. Steele was appointed as Attorney General of Kings in 1995 by Governor Dick Shae, becoming the first black Sierran and first woman to have served as the province's attorney general.
While serving as Attorney General, she began campaigning for governorship as a Royalist, and won, defeating Democratic-Republican opponent Mitch Fantano in the 1999 Kings gubernatorial election. As governor, she committed towards passing tripartisan, balanced budgets, and cut government spending by 10% whilst increasing the proportion of Kings' allocated budget to education from 20% to 40%, and overhauled the province's tax code. Steele joined other Royalist governors in pushing for the Health in Our Hands Act to pass in Parliament, which would allow provinces to exercise greater authority over health care. When the bill passed, she oversaw the massive reform of Kings' own health care and pension plans, providing a wider range of benefits at lower premiums, compared to the national system. She resisted efforts to decriminalize marijuana but later signed law authorizing medicinal marijuana in 2003, making Kings one of the first provinces to do so. Eventually, she signed a bill legalizing recreational use in 2011. After she left office in 2012, she traveled across the country as a conservative political speaker, working for the Council of Pacific-Atlantic Affairs. She was chosen by Royalist Party nominee Daniel McComb in June 2016 as his running mate on the party's ticket for the Prime Ministry, and began campaigning him under the slogan, "Get Sierra Working Again". They were elected into office, and Steele was sworn in as the first black female deputy prime minister in Sierran history. She later became the first black female prime minister in October 2017 though she currently holds the record for the shortest premiership in Sierran history as well. During her brief tenure as the 33rd Prime Minister of only 15 days from October 3 to October 17, 2017, she had to handle the disastrous McComb sexual abuses scandal by her predecessor and former superior. After she announced no plans to continue as prime minister, a 2017 leadership election by the Royalists on October 17 chose Nemesis Heartwell to be Steele's successor. She died on January 28, 2021 at the age of 88.
Early life, education, and family
Leslie Sarah Cole was born and raised in Pismo Beach a family of two, raised by her mother, Naomi (née McCollum) Cole, a practicing pediatrician with Sierran Creole heritage, and John Ethan Cole, an Adventist minister and a mathematics teacher. Her older sister, Danielle, was four years her senior. The Coles trace their roots from the American South (now Okaloosa in the United Commonwealth), with her ancestors in enslavement for at least one generation before the American Civil War. Steele's great-grandparents immigrated to Sierra into San Joaquin shortly after the end of the Sierran Civil War, and lived for years as hired farmhands, before becoming owners of farms themselves. Later DNA analysis revealed that most of her ancestors came from Ghana or Sierra Leone.
As the only African-Sierran family in the community, and in her own class, Steele struggled to fit in, and was occasionally harassed and discriminated against on the basis of her race. She attended Sunset Palisades Elementary, and spent most of her time studying. Steele developed an interest in music and singing at a relatively young age, joining the choir in her father's church, and the choir at her school. Steele described her childhood as one filled with ambitious endeavor, and the desire to proof her self-worth to her predominantly Caucasian friends at school and church. She was an active member of the Pathfinders, and became a part-time youth guide for the community's local parks and beaches.
Although Steele originally desired to become a music teacher, after attending a local community event held by the mayor, she developed an interest in politics, and began searching for opportunities to get involved in the politics of her province. In middle school, she joined a debate club, and practiced speech. Both of her parents supported Steele's goals, and encouraged her to become a community organizer and activist. Steele was eventually enlisted into a special program with Parliament, becoming a page and intern for Royalist MP Jack Roberts, during her senior year. Steele credited Roberts for fully convincing her to take up a career in law, as well as influencing her in the development of her own political views.
Steele attended the now defunct San Luis Obispo Junior College, before transferring to Kings Polytechnic Provincial University (now Sierra Polytechnic National University) where she obtained her bachelor's in political science in 1954. She then moved to Santa Barbara to major in law at the University of Kings, Santa Barbara campus. Steele participated in political activism as a university student, joining national leaders such as Cesar Chavez through the National Farm Workers Association in pushing for fairer labor rights and unionization of farmers, as well as combatting against the prolific racism and discrimination blacks and Hispanic Sierrans experienced during the time. She later pushed towards raising awareness of workers' concerns and labor rights within the provincial Royalist Party, supporting what she hoped in for a socially conservative, but fiscally moderate party responsive to minority and lower-class issues. Steel obtained her juris doctorate in law in 1960 and spent her first six years after as a legal consultant for several private firms, before becoming an attorney for a local law firm in 1966.
Legal and academic career
In 1966, Steele joined the Horowitz & Brady LLP, and worked with clients dealing with workplace-related disputes. While with the firm, Steele worked on matters with the Grocers and Food Workers Union in Kings, and was one of the attorneys for union president Lucy Carmichael when a litigation against her accused Carmichael of illegal rent-seeking practices in 1970. She was later recognized by Kings Governor Oscar H. Ruiz, and presented the Kings Executive Honor Award in 1971 for her legal activities. While she practiced private law, Steele became a visiting fellow at the University of Kings, Santa Barbara, aiding in research and lecturing part-time to students on the legal trends in civil law and labor statutes. In 1973, she helped produce Beneath the Vines, a documentary on the life of migrant workers in Central Valley, which won the Mulholland Awards for Best Nonfiction Picture. In 1975, Steele left the firm and worked independently, specializing on civil rights cases and employment disputes. After five more years in private practice, Steele was hired by University of Kings, Santa Barbara in 1980 as an assistant professor in law, and was subsequently promoted to associate professor in 1981, and then a full-time, tenured professor in 1983, before being appointed as the department chair of the University's humanities and social science department the following year in 1984. While she taught as a professor, she focused on civil law and torts.
Dean of the Frémont and Pico Hall School of Law
Six years into her service as department chair, Steele was nominated by her fellow faculty members to become the University of Kings, Santa Barbara's Frémont and Pico Hall School of Law's new dean following the decision of then-dean, Dr. Malachi Bluman, to step down after 33 years of service. Steele won the nomination process and was appointed by the University Board of Trustees, citing her excellence in academic teaching, professionalism, expertise, and passionate leadership as major factors in offering the deanship. Accepting the offer, Steele became the first female and first African-Sierran dean in the university's history, as well as the third African-Sierran dean to serve as the academic head of any higher institutions in Sierra. Prior to Steele's decision to leave the institution when she was appointed by Governor Dick Shae as attorney general, she was offered the promotion to university provost, a position she declined prior to her appointment. During her tenure as dean, she briefly served as a sitting member in the University of Sierra Chamber of Peers, and was present at the 1992 and 1993 Board of Regents' General Conference meetings.
Attorney General of Kings
On November 1995, Governor Dick Shae announced that Steele was his nomination for Attorney General of Kings. Steele was recommended by an independent panel of the province's top lawyers and attorneys as a potential candidate. She underwent an investigative hearing by the Kings Provincial Legislature as part of the vetting process. Governor Shae praised her "remarkable and astonishing career in practicing, defending, and educating about the law", and was formally nominated on March 1, 1995, being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 18 yeas and 3 abstains on March 9. She was later confirmed as Attorney General following a vote of 32 yeas to 3 nays on April 1, just before legislative recess, and Steele formally took up the position on April 3.
As Attorney General, Steele took up the traditional responsibility of pursuing consumer rights cases and civil action related to white collar crimes. She represented the province in fighting against homeowner loan fraud as one of her first actions in office, and led a lawsuit against Ventura International for misleading buyers into purchasing risky mortgages. She accused the firm for violating provincial law on consumer protections and advertising, and won the case, resulting in the company agreeing to pay $12 billion in damages.
In 1996, she opened a high-profile investigation on several public and private universities in Kings on unfair lending practices, including her own campus, UK Santa Barbara. Universities encouraged students to choose lenders of the school's choice, with such lenders often incurring higher interest rates than other lenders. Steele successfully overturned such practices, and many student borrowers received rebate from the institutions.
Under Steele, she commissioned a study on policing in Kings, and the incarceration rate in Kings' prison system, and investigated criminal rights cases in the province, particularly on the issues of solitary confinement and juvenile detention. Aspects of her study were later used to push towards Kings' ban on the use of solitary confinement against minors, and other prison reforms after her tenure ended.
Prior to Steele's departure from the office, she led a high profile case investigating and prosecuting Excel Technologies and other small ISPs for illegally distributing child pornography and bestiality, and oversaw the companies' servers raided and scrubbed of illegal material. She successfully prosecuted a number of Excel Technologies' members who were implicated in the criminal ring.
Governor of Kings
Upon taking office, she repealed a number of unpopular regulatory fees surrounding gas and transportation, but later faced backlash by environmentalist and conservation groups. She sought to maintain government transparency, and reinstated the traditional practice of releasing a comprehensive budget report and auditing log annually. The practice was controversially abolished under the governorship of Richard Vinciguerra in 1991. Steele's early successes as governor continued as four of the five ballot measures she backed for the 2001 general election were passed.
2016 prime ministerial election
Deputy Prime Minister of Sierra
Prime Minister of Sierra
Steele died on January 28, 2021 at the age of 88. The announcement was made on the same day by members of her family who posted on Bubbler declaring that she had passed away in her sleep. The bubble would gain millions of likes eventually becoming one of the most-liked bubbles on the platform. The Steele family stated that a private funeral would be held per Leslie's wishes, but that anyone who was close to her would be allowed to come.