About

ABOUT BEN ALLEN

On November 4, 2014, California State Senator Ben Allen was overwhelmingly elected to represent the 26th Senate District, which consists of the Westside and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County: the cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, El Segundo, Avalon, Lomita, Torrance, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills; the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Westchester, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood, Westwood Village, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, Little Holmby, Sunset Hills, Beverly Grove, Mar Vista, Mid City West, Miracle Mile, Larchmont Village, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Fairfax, Carthay, Fremont Place, Hancock Park, and Windsor Square; and the unincorporated Los Angeles County communities of Marina Del Rey, San Clemente Island, Santa Catalina Island, Franklin, Centinela, and Ocean View.

He was selected as a freshman senator to serve as chair of the Senate’s Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments as well as the state legislature’s Joint Committee on the Arts. He also serves on the Senate’s Budget Committee, the Budget Subcommittee that oversees the state’s education budget, the Veterans Affairs Committee, the Natural Resources and Water Committee, and the Transportation and Housing Committee.

Ben is a former board member, and former Board President, of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and was elected as the top vote-getter in both his 2008 election and 2012 reelection. He is also an attorney with the law firm of Richardson & Patel LLP and is a lecturer at UCLA Law School, where he teaches education law and policy.

While in law school, Allen served as a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents and as a judicial clerk with the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Afterwards, Allen was a litigator with the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and then led the successful Los Angeles launch of The Spark Program, a non-profit organization that connects at-risk middle school students with apprenticeships. He currently serves on Spark’s board.

Prior to his law career, Allen worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), and then as communications director for Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY). He is a senior fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, is member of a Pacific Council on International Policy, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project. Allen has degrees from Harvard, Cambridge, and UC Berkeley, and he is fluent in Spanish.

EXPERIENCE

SENATE COMMITTEES

In the 2017-18 legislative session, Ben serves on the following committees:

  • Education Committee, Chair
  • Joint Committee on the Arts, Chair
  • Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, Member and former Chair
  • Natural Resources and Water Committee, Member
  • Transportation and Housing Committee, Member
  • Select Committee on Defense and Aerospace, Vice Chair

LEGISLATIVE CAUCUSES

  • Environmental Caucus, Co-Chair
  • Jewish Caucus, Vice Chair
  • Animal Protection Caucus
  • Aviation Caucus
  • Bi-Partisan Caucus
  • Bicycling Caucus
  • California Futures Caucus
  • Education-Technology Caucus
  • Los Angeles County Caucus
  • Mental Health Caucus
  • Technology and Innovation Caucus

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

  • California Coastal Conservancy, Governing Board Member
  • Public Works Board, Board Member
  • Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Board Member
  • Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, Governing Board Member
  • State Allocation Board, Board Member
  • University of California Center Sacramento, Board Member

AWARDS AND HONORS

Ben has been recognized for his accomplishments by the following organizations:

  • California School Boards Association, Freshman Legislator of the Year
  • County Superintendents’ Educational Services Association, Legislator of the Year
  • Alzheimer’s Association, Legislator of the Year
  • Technet, Legislator of the Year
  • March of Dimes, Legislative Champion
  • West Basin Municipal Water District, Legislator of the Year
  • New Leaders Council, Alumni Award
  • California Dance Education Association, Dance Education Champion Award
  • Association of California School Administrators, Friend of Public Education Award
  • Donate Life, Legislator of the Year
  • Clean Money Campaign, Clean Money Champion
  • Southern California Educational Theatre Association, Outstanding Contribution to Theatre
  • Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Seven Seals Award

VOTING RECORD

Ben has earned a perfect score from several key organizations:

  • Sierra Club — 100%
  • Planned Parenthood — 100%
  • Congress of California Seniors — 100%
  • Humane Society — 100%
  • California Environmental Justice Association – 100%
  • Health Access California – 100%
  • Equality California — 100%
  • Small Business Association of California – Magna cum Laude

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Prior to serving in the state Senate, Ben was active in the community in elected positions and serving in leadership and volunteer positions with many organizations:

  • Member, Board of Education, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, 2008-2014
  • Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Education Committee
  • Chair, Los Angeles County Office of Education Committee on School Board Organization
  • Los Angeles County School Trustees Association Board of Directors
  • Santa Monica College General Advisory Board
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Financial Oversight Committee
  • Santa Monica College Bond Oversight Committee
  • Volunteer, Measures R and ES
  • Community Organizer, Los Angeles Unified School District, Measure K

LAW AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Richardson and Patel LLP, Attorney
  • Attorney, Bryan Cave
  • UCLA Law School, Lecturer
  • University of California, Regent
  • Spark Los Angeles Managing Director and General Counsel
  • Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, 12th Grade Instructor
  • U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Judicial Clerk
  • U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY), Communications Director
  • National Democratic Institute, Development
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Intern
  • Harvard Hillel Children’s School (Hebrew School), Kindergarten and 3rd Grade Teacher

EDUCATION

  • UC Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), JD
  • Cambridge University, M.Phil., Latin American Studies, 2001
  • Harvard University, BA, magna cum laude, History, 2000

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