Cynthia McClain-Hill Elected President of LA Board of Water and Energy Commissioners, Susana Reyes Elected Vice President – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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Cynthia McClain-Hill Elected President of LA Board of Water and Power Commissioners, Susana Reyes Elected Vice President - Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Cynthia McClain-Hill elected President of the LA Board of Water and Power Commissioners, Susana Reyes elected Vice President

Photo by Art Mochizuki

Mel Levine resigns as CEO after seven years in office

(July 28, 2020) –Lawyer and strategist for public policy, Cynthia McClain-Hill, was elected President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners today, and Commissioner Susana Reyes, a retired LADWP customer service manager for low-income programs and sustainability advisor to Mayor Eric Garcetti, became vice president of the Board of Directors. McClain-Hill replaces former US Congressman Mel Levine, who has served as Chairman since 2013 – the longest term in office of a President of the Board of Water and Power Commission. Mr. Levine nominated both for their respective positions, which were approved by the Board today.

McClain-Hill is an advocate of racial and environmental justice with excellence in the public and nonprofit sector. Since September 5, 2018, she has been Vice President of the LADWP Board. Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed her to the board and confirmed it on August 15, 2018.

"From the police commission to the DWP, Cynthia McClain-Hill was not afraid to face our toughest challenges and gave her time, energy, determination, and experience to make Los Angeles fairer, safer, and fairer," said Mayor Garcetti. “As we endure and emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, I have no doubt that Cynthia will continue the courageous and thoughtful leadership of Mel Levine as LADWP board chairperson and help us find the way to healthier communities and a more sustainable city to advance. ”

“It is a great honor for me to be President of this Board of Directors and I am grateful for the support from Mayor Garcetti, members of the City Council and my colleagues on the Board. This is a time of unprecedented challenges as we work to build a stronger Los Angeles by reaching our city's goals for clean, reliable and sustainable water and energy amid an international pandemic, financial crisis and urgent demands for racial justice and justice, " McClain-Hill said. "I am confident that LADWP can address these challenges together and create a stronger, more inclusive organization that provides justice and fairness to our customers, communities, and employees in everything we do."

As Managing Director of Strategic Counsel PLC, McClain-Hill leads the firm's legal, land use, and environmental law practices. She is a widely recognized lawyer and public policy strategist with an outstanding service. Before being appointed to the board, she was a member of the city's police commission and community redevelopment agency. She is a former member of the California Coastal Commission, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the CalEPA Environmental Justice Advisory Working Group and the Los Angeles City Small and Local Business Advisory Committee. From 2008 to 2009 she was president of the National Association of Women Business Owners. McClain-Hill has consistently been named one of the "Super Lawyers" in Southern California based on surveys of 65,000 lawyers in the Los Angeles region and is one of the five percent of the state's practicing lawyers.

Outgoing President Levine said: "It has been a great honor to be President of the Board of Commissioners for the past seven years and I am delighted to have nominated Cynthia McClain-Hill as the new Commission President and Susana Reyes as the new Vice President . They bring a lot of energy and experience into their respective positions and also offer the perspective of members of communities who were historically underrepresented at a time when this perspective is urgently needed. LADWP will also play a pioneering role here. "

Martin L. Adams, General Manager and Chief Engineer of LADWP, said: “We at LADWP are all indebted to President Levine for his leadership and service over the past seven years. He has led the board in some of the department's most transformative and challenging times, with wisdom, thoughtfulness, tenacity and humor. This department is stronger due to the constant leadership of Mel Levine. Our newly elected Commission President Cynthia McClain-Hill is a strong, effective leader with a toughness that enables her to get things done. I look forward to continuing to work with her, Vice President Susana Reyes and the entire Board to accomplish great things for the Ministry and the city as we focus on switching our water and electricity supplies to more sustainable resources, investing in infrastructure and create justice within our organization and the communities we serve. "

The newly elected Vice President Susana Reyes was appointed to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners by Mayor Garcetti and confirmed by the City Council on June 5, 2019. Reyes is the first Filipino-American and also the first LADWP pensioner to sit on the board. Previously, she was director of LADWP low-income customer access, a position that helped low-income interest payers gain access to financial support, discounts, and discounts from the utility. She has been an official and founder and CEO of AgilEngines LLC, a law firm and consulting firm that focuses on public relations and civic engagement strategies, for over 33 years.

"I am humble and honored for the trust placed in me and I look forward to working as the new Vice President. The city of LA and LADWP are at a crossroads that go through a moment of motion. I provide opportunities for innovative and bold solutions for LADWP to serve the public more reliably, safely, fairly and in new ways that will change their culture and ability to change. I will work to ensure public trust through a system of transparency, public participation and stakeholder cooperation. "

Reyes’s experience includes working with Mayor Garcetti’s sustainability team as a senior policy analyst, where she oversees the implementation of Los Angeles’s BlueLA, an EV car sharing pilot program in low-income communities, received a $ 1.7 million grant from the California Air and Resources Board to help launch the city. She is also an active member of the Sierra Club and was elected to the organization's first all-female executive committee in 2017. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy on forest health and watershed issues, and is a board member of the LA League of Conservation Voters. Her work in promoting justice and climate justice initiatives has earned her excellent awards and recognitions.

Click here to read the biographies of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

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