Five new city commissioners

The newcomers include John Kim, co-director of the Advancement Project and director of the Healthy City Project, appointed to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. He's from Highland Park. Release after the jump.

LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced five new commission appointments: John Kim to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners; Sophia Chang to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission; Paul Sweeney, Jr. to the Board of Civil Service Commissioners; Javier Lujan to the Quality and Productivity Commission; and Jaime Rodriguez to the Board of Transportation Commissioners.

John Kim – Board of Neighborhood Commissioners

John Kim, the co-director of the Advancement Project and director of the Healthy City Project, was appointed to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC). Kim brings more than twelve years of experience in community development, organizational management and public policy to the BONC.

At the Advancement Project, Kim focuses his work on closing the opportunity gap for high-need communities of color. Kim has set agency-wide policy strategies on issues ranging from community engagement, multi-racial coalition building and place-based initiatives. He oversees all fundraising, new strategic initiatives and organizational development activities for the office.

As the director of the Healthy City Project, Kim has helped secure tens of million in private and public investments for high-need communities in Los Angeles by developing data-driven policy recommendations for elected officials and foundation leadership on issues ranging from homelessness, land use, resource allocation, and early education. The website HealthyCity.org, founded by Mr. Kim, is widely recognized as one of the most important public sector resources for the Los Angeles region and a nation-leading model.

Kim has previously served as the executive director of the Korean Community Center for the East Bay and a youth organizer for the AYPAL
(Asian Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership). In honor of his community leadership and achievement, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown declared the “John K Kim” Day in the City of Oakland. Kim resides in Highland Park.

Sophia Chang – West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission

Sophia Chang, an associate at the law firm Jones Day, has been appointed to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. Chang practices corporate law, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate governance. Prior to joining Jones Day, Chang worked as a senior human relations consultant for the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, where she designed and supported efforts to address intergroup conflict and promote diversity across the County. Chang also previously served as a staff attorney for the Center for Law in the Public Interest, where she crafted legal and policy strategies to advocate for civil rights and promote environmental justice.

Chang is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity in the Profession. She previously served both as a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center and also as a member of the Associates’ Board of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

Chang graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Urban Policy. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Chang currently resides in West Los Angeles.

Paul W. Sweeney, Jr. – Board of Civil Service Commissioners

Paul Sweeney was appointed to the Board of Civil Service Commissioners. Sweeney is a partner at K&L Gates where he is a member of the commercial litigation group. Sweeney focuses on business disputes and employment cases and has handled individual and class action lawsuits, employment lawsuits and entertainment cases. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Sweeney served as a White House Fellow in the Carter Administration, where he worked for the White House chief of staff/assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs. In 1999, Sweeney served as a volunteer prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney, where he handled misdemeanor jury trials.

Sweeney was named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine in 2006 and 2007, and a California “Super Lawyer” in the Corporate Counsel Edition in 2008. He is a member of the board of directors of Public Counsel, Getty House Foundation, and the Hollywood Wilshire YMCA. Sweeney earned a B.S. from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

Javier Lujan – Quality and Productivity Commission

Javier Lujan, an Academic Recovery Teacher at Options For Youth (OFY) Charter Schools in Sylmar, was appointed to the Quality and Productivity Commission. OFY is a public, independent studies program dedicated to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for at-risk youth. Lujan has more than 16 years experience working with underserved communities in the East San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles. Lujan previously served as a case manager at El Nido Family Centers in Mission Hills and as a project coordinator for Project TRACK at Los Angeles Mission College.

Lujan earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Education from National University. Lujan currently resides in Sylmar and also works as a GED Math Instructor at Los Angeles Mission College.

Jaime J. Rodriguez – Board of Transportation Commissioners

Jaime Rodriguez, currently working as senior legal counsel for Univision Communications Inc., was appointed to the Board of Transportation Commissioners. Rodriguez previously worked as an associate at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP and before that, as an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Rodriguez received degrees in Political Science and German from the University of California, Berkeley and earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Rodriguez grew up in the Mt. Washington area and is currently a resident of Silver Lake.

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