LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass named Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez to serve on her transition advisory team Saturday.
The transition team — which consists of 103 members — will provide advice and counsel through the first 100 days of Bass’ administration.
Many are curious as to why more veteran staffers from her Congressional office haven’t been named to either her transition team and/or cabinet after Bass assumed the role of mayor.
“I’m honored to serve on Mayor Bass’ transition team and help her address issues the city of Los Angeles faces,” Rodriguez said. “… Given Mayor Bass’ policy focus, I look forward to partnering with her on how education remains a significant predictor of social mobility,” Rodriguez added. “The heart of LACCD is to provide students hope through education. Collaborating with the mayor’s office, I believe together, we can increase resources and create opportunities to all Angelenos.”
Co-chairs of the advisory team are: Dolores Huerta, labor and civil rights leader; Monica Lozano, president of the College Futures Foundation, formerly publisher and CEO of La Opinión; Dominique Ng, CEO of East West Bank; Steve Soboroff, city police commissioner; and Yvonne Wheeler, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
Earlier this month, Bass announced the following permanent members of her staff:
— Jenny Punsalan Delwood, deputy chief of staff. Delwood, who was Bass’ campaign manager, will oversee the mayor’s constituent services, public engagement, legislative and intergovernmental strategy, international affairs, budget and innovation team, operations and scheduling. She formally served as the executive vice president at Liberty Hill Foundation and oversaw programs, grantmaking and strategic planning. She also served as chief deputy for children, youth and families with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and was Bass’ legislative director in Congress.
— Veronica Gutierrez, interim deputy chief of staff. Gutierrez will assess staffing, scope of work and policy development in the mayor’s office and will oversee public safety, economic development, economic opportunity and sustainability. She is serving in an interim capacity to help set up the office for the first few months, then plans to return to retirement. Gutierrez has extensive experience in city service, having served in various roles on the staff of former councilmembers Gloria Molina and Jackie Goldberg.
— David Michaelson, counsel to the mayor. Michaelson has been chief assistant city attorney for Los Angeles for the last 17 years.
— Zach Seidl, communications director and senior advisor, acting deputy mayor of communications. Seidl has worked for Bass for the past seven years, most recently as communications director and senior advisor in her congressional office.
— Joey Freeman, director of policy and budget initiatives. Freeman was a senior advisor and policy director for Bass’ mayoral campaign, and previously served as the chief deputy legislative affairs secretary for Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Bass previously announced that Chris Thompson would be her chief of staff, and Mercedes Marquez would be chief of housing and homelessness solutions.
2UrbanGirls contributed to this report.