Fleming appointed to MWD

Mayor Villaraigosa named attorney, philanthropist and former city commissioner David Fleming to the board of the Metropolitan Water District. (This gets Fleming off the MTA board, opening up a second coveted slot there — known to be coveted by some city council members, with Bill Rosendahl among the most covetous, but more likely to go to Herb Wesson and or Jose Huizar, some sources think.) Fleming is the head of the Los Angeles County Business Federation and co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council. Funny, the mayor's release and bio after the jump never mention that Fleming was a Valley secession leader — one of the leaders who secretly bankrolled the early stages in cahoots with the publisher of the Daily News.


LOS ANGELES Continuing his commitment to water conservation and a clean drinking supply, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today that he has appointed David W. Fleming to the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors.

“David is eminently qualified to lead us through the drought and water shortages that have become an inconvenient reality for Los Angeles,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “With David on the Board, Los Angeles will continue to lead the state in water conservation and create a path for a more sustainable future.”

Facing a third straight dry year and court-imposed limits on imported water,California faces significant water shortages this year. Statewide reservoir levels are their lowest since the 1976-78 drought and currently stand at only one-third of capacity. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), the source of more than half of the City’s water, has estimated that if statewide water conditions do not improve they will need to cut deliveries by 15 to 25 percent.

Mayor Villaraigosa recently called for an acceleration of water use restrictions under his 20-year water strategy as well as implementation of shortage-year water rates.

The MWD is responsible for the drinking water of nearly 18 million people in the Southern California region. Board members are tasked with ensuring the supply of high-quality water to meet the region’s needs in an environmentally and economically responsible way. The MWD currently delivers 1.7 billion gallons of water per day to a 5,200-square-mile service area.

David W. Fleming Biography

David W. Fleming, 74, was the instigator of the successful charter reform movement in the City of Los Angeles. In 1997, he and then-Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan co-chaired a voters' initiative to reform Los Angeles City government, culminating in the creation of an elected citizens' Charter Reform Commission. A new charter was drafted and overwhelming adopted by the City’s voters in 1999.

In 2003, Fleming was appointed a trustee of the James Madison Foundation by President George W. Bush. The 12 member Foundation (composed of four members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, two State Governors, two Federal Appellate justices, the Secretary of Education and two private citizens) bestows scholarships on high school teachers in all 50 states.

Fleming is the immediate past Chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and chairs the Los Angeles County Business Federation. He is the co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council, a group composed of leaders throughout Southern California including former California governors Gray Davis, Pete Wilson, Jerry Brown and George Deukmejian.

Fleming recently served as the Chairman of the California Regional Leadership Foundation, a statewide organization of civic entrepreneurs addressing regional problems. He is the Chair of Project Grad, an intensive program helping public school students achieve excellence in their educational careers.

Fleming was the Vice Chairman of the California Transportation Commission (CTC) on which he served from 1996 through 1999, appointed by then California Governor Pete Wilson. He chaired the CTC’s Public Transit Committee, overseeing major public transit projects throughout California, allocating billions of dollars of federal and state gas taxes and voter-approved bonding revenues for the state’s highways, rail, water and air transportation infrastructure.

Fleming chairs the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, a business and industrial collective formed following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, comprised of all of the Chambers of Commerce together with other leading business groups within the greater San Fernando Valley. He recently served as one of five commissioners of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. From 1993 to 2001 he served as President of the Los Angeles City Board of Fire Commissioners, overseeing the operations of the City’s Fire Department.

Fleming is a past chairman and currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, the largest economic development organization of its kind in the nation. He served as the chair of Valley Industry & Commerce Association from 1988 through 1990.

Fleming is the Chairman of the Board of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, a 380 bed non-profit, community-owned heath center, a position he has held for the past 20 years. He serves on the national Board of Trustees of the Reason Foundation and is the Vice-Chair of the Children’s Planning Council of Los Angeles County, an organization he was instrumental in creating. The Children's Planning Council coordinates the funding of
over $5 billion of federal and state money annually to aid children and families in need throughout Los Angeles County. He is a member of the board of directors of the California Community Foundation, an 80 year old philanthropic organization overseeing $1.5 billion dollars in assets dedicated to charity.

In addition, Fleming is a director of the following organizations: The Los Angeles Police Foundation, the Children’s Bureau of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council Foundation, the Civic Alliance, California State University, Northridge Foundation, the New Majority and the Fernando Award Foundation. He is the vice chair of the $125 million campaign to build a new performing arts center at CSUN. He serves on the board of the Advisors to the Dean of UCLA Law School.

A member of the California State Bar since 1959, he is of counsel to Latham & Watkins, one of the largest law firms in the world. He is a past recipient of the prestigious Fernando Award, bestowed annually on a San Fernando Valley resident in honor of a lifetime of volunteer service. In 2000, he was given the Nellie Reagan Award for volunteerism, named after the late President Reagan’s mother. Over the past 45 years, he has devoted over 75,000 hours of service to civic, community, charitable and government organizations. He has been honored by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Committee, the LA Family Housing Foundation, the Southern California Biotech Institute, the California Jaycees, various bar associations, the United Chambers of Commerce, the Valley Interfaith Council and many other philanthropic and civic organizations.

Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, he moved to the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles in 1956 and graduated from UCLA Law School in 1959. A member of the Southern California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, he and his wife, Jean, have two adult sons residing in Southern California. Over the years they have personally donated over $5 million to a wide array of charities including Valley Presbyterian Hospital, CSUN and UCLA Law School.

In 2005, Mayor Villaraigosa appointed Fleming to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors. He will end his service on the Metro Board effective immediately.

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