Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, are hosting a Santa Monica fundraiser for Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who is a candidate for the open City Council seat in South LA's 8th district in the March 3 primary. The seat is open because longtime Councilman Bernard Parks is being termed out. The Hollywood Reporter's Tina Daunt notes this is a rare foray of Hollywood Democratic activists into local LA politics.
Though Hollywood recently has taken a stronger interest in Los Angeles’ mayoral races, it’s extremely rare for its politically active figures to take a hand in a city council election. Abrams and McGrath, however, are two of the most active among the entertainment industry’s younger coterie of Democratic activists and have acquired a reputation for being shrewd spotters of political talent.
They were, for example, early supporters of State Attorney General Kamala Harris, who now is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Barbara Boxer. The 8th District, where incumbent Bernard Parks—the former police chief—is termed out, is one of Los Angeles’ most interesting, as it encompasses the two most affluent majority black census tracts in America.
The Harris-Dawson fundraiser is set for the evening of Feb. 27 at Abrams’ Bad Robot studio in Santa Monica. Ticket prices range from $250 to $700. Rep. Karen Bass, the former California Assembly Speaker and Harris-Dawson mentor as founder and ex-head of the Community Coalition, also will be on hand.
Before you ask — no, Abrams and McGrath don't live anywhere near the 8th district. I'm told they reside in Pacific Palisades. At least that is in the city of Los Angeles.