Bonnie Lowenthal

Bonnie Lowenthal is a member of the ICTF JPA governing Board and also Secretary of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, elected to the post in July 2022 by her colleagues on the five-member Board. Named to the Commission in July 2017, during her tenure, she has served as President, Vice President and Secretary. She brings a broad history of public service and deep experience in the City of Long Beach, formerly serving as a state Assembly member, Long Beach City Councilmember, Vice Mayor, and member of the Long Beach Unified School District Board.

Ms. Lowenthal was appointed by Mayor Robert Garcia to her first six-year term on the Commission that manages the City’s Harbor Department and oversees the nation’s second-busiest seaport. She was unanimously confirmed by the City Council as the seventh woman and 68th overall appointee since the current Commission was established in 1925. Her appointment marked the first time in the Port’s history that the five-member Board had four female members at the same time. During her presidency, she championed the Port’s Equity Statement, which was adopted by the Board in July 2020 and continues to champion diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

The Commission provides policy direction and oversight for the Port’s capital improvement program, a plan to invest $2.6 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade Port facilities, protect the environment, increase revenue and enhance competitiveness. Projects include the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility, Terminal Island Wye Rail Project and other roadway, waterway, dock and rail improvements to speed cargo flow and reduce truck traffic and environmental impacts as part of the Port’s journey to zero-emissions operations.

Besides serving on various Commission subcommittees, Ms. Lowenthal also represents the Port on national and international trade missions and serves as the Board representative or alternate to a variety of Port-related leadership organizations.

Ms. Lowenthal has spent most of her life in Long Beach, her adopted hometown, since attending graduate school at California State University, Long Beach. In addition to her political career, she has served the community as a licensed family counselor, mental health consultant, educator and commissioner to various city commissions.

In 1994, Ms. Lowenthal was elected to the first of two terms on the Long Beach Unified School District Board, helping Long Beach earn a national reputation as one of the country’s best urban school districts.

She then won the 1st District City Council seat in a 2001 special election and was elected to two full terms in 2002 and 2006. She was selected by her colleagues as Vice Mayor in 2006 and elected by 27 regional cities to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board, before being elected to the State Assembly in 2008. During her tenure as a City Councilmember, she started the discussion and led the way for the Port of Long Beach to explore alternative marine power to improve air emissions while ships are at berth. Her mission on the Long Beach City Council was to make sure that the residents of her Port-adjacent, working-class district were as well represented at City Hall as residents of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

Since the late 1980s, Ms. Lowenthal has taken an active role in affordable housing. Appointed as Vice Chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness in 1987, she has looked for mechanisms to house people and prevent homelessness. As a City Councilmember, she initiated the Homeless Services Advisory Committee and served as the Chairperson of the city’s Housing and Neighborhoods Committee; she authored the Housing Trust Fund for the City of Long Beach and brought to Long Beach the first city-administered overnight shelter for single men and women. Most recently, Ms. Lowenthal chaired the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing for the city and provided recommendations to the Long Beach City Council.

During her three terms in the State Assembly, Ms. Lowenthal’s district included the Long Beach/Los Angeles port complex – the nation’s largest – and one of the most diverse populations in the state. She helped deliver more than 18,000 good-paying transportation-related jobs during the height of the Great Recession and protected the employment rights of thousands of workers, while standing up for children, seniors, and the environment. She authored laws to develop the California Freight Plan, protect coastal waters from invasive species, make it easier for older adults to stay in their homes, encourage state workers to blow the whistle on wrongdoing, and make it easier for school districts to give kids a safe ride to school. She wrote laws that bring additional federal funds to foster youth, protect injured workers from unjust medical bills, and reduce the cost of prison healthcare by millions of dollars a year. Her leadership positions in the State Assembly included chairing the Assembly Committee on Transportation, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, the Joint Committee on Emergency Management, and the Select Committee on Ports. She served as a member of the committees on Accountability and Administrative Review, Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials, Health, Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy and other select committees.

For her service in the State Legislature, Ms. Lowenthal was named Legislator of the Year by the California Assisted Living Association, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the California Chiropractic Association, among many others. Her efforts on behalf of women and children, as well as her efforts in transportation and aging/long-term care, generated similar accolades. Her efforts to protect the environment were recognized in 2013 when she was awarded the South Coast AQMD’s Roy Wilson Award for Leadership in Government. In 2018, she received the California State University, Long Beach, Distinguished Alumni Award, the university’s highest alumni honor recognizing former students who have an exemplary record of distinction and success in their chosen fields and a proven record of impactful leadership and enduring service to their communities and society-at-large.

Ms. Lowenthal’s pre-political work is rooted in the local Cambodian community and in service to the Latino community.

Beginning in 1989, as Director of Planning for the United Cambodian Community, she also served as the Arts Manager representing a group of Cambodian musicians and began a Cambodian Children’s Orchestra. In 1991, Ms. Lowenthal traveled to Cambodia with a national Red Cross group to investigate the proliferation of landmines following wars in the country. She also helped initiate sister-city relationships with Mombasa and Phnom Penh. She was an official observer during Cambodia’s first municipal elections in more than 40 years. Ms. Lowenthal has also served as Clinical Director for the Cambodian Association of America and as a participant on the Cambodiatown Advisory Board.

Having served as a mental health consultant for the League of United Latin American Citizens HeadStart, and the Centro de la Raza, Ms. Lowenthal is also acutely aware of the needs of the Latino community in Long Beach. Living in Mexico and teaching at universities there instilled in her a love for Latin culture. As a City Councilmember, she worked closely with community activists and leaders to establish the first college scholarship fund for students by the Long Beach City Latino Managers and Professional Organization in honor of Manny Perez. She also instituted the City’s annual recognition luncheon dedicated to Cesar Chavez.

Ms. Lowenthal currently serves her community on the St. Mary Medical Center Ambassador Board, the U.S. Vets Advisory Board, the Children Today Board of Directors, the Linc Housing Board of Directors and the Jewish Family and Children’s Service Board of Directors.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s of Science in Community and Clinical Psychology from California State University, Long Beach.

Bonnie Lowenthal lives in the Carroll Park neighborhood with her longtime partner, Evan Braude, an attorney and former Long Beach City Councilmember. She has two adult children with her former husband, U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, and four grandchildren.

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