February 25, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Santa Monica Honors LGBTQ Politician and Heal The Bay CEO on 100th Anniversary of U.S. Women’s Right to Vote

Honorees Include Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Heal The Bay CEO Dr. Shelley Luce

Amidst an election year and the 100th anniversary of the landmark 19th Constitutional Amendment, granting women the right to vote in the United States, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women, and Organization of Women Leaders (OWL) will host an inspirational celebration in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. The 2020 theme, reflecting the centennial of the Suffragette movement, is “Valiant Women of the Vote.”

Each year, “Owlies” are honored in relation to the Women’s Day theme for their commitment to the community. The 2020 OWL honorees include Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, District 3, and Heal The Bay CEO Dr. Shelley Luce.

“Supervisor Kuehl and Dr. Shelley Luce are perfect honorees for such a momentous celebration and both embody the values of our community,” says Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Laurel Rosen. “We are grateful for their continued contributions and the monumental changes they have enacted in each of their roles.”

This motivational event gathers top women business leaders to share their insights with attendees during a dinner program of speakers, performers, singers and more from the surrounding community. Past “Owlies” include former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, actress Jennifer Garner, Julie Pilat, film producer Amy Ziering, Elaine Polachek, Bettina Duval (California List), Mallika Chopra (Living With Intent), Santa Monica Chief of Police Jacqueline Seabrooks, and Channel 11 news anchor Christine Devine.

Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl was first elected to represent Los Angeles County’s Third District on November 4, 2014. She assumed office on December 1, 2014, and was reelected to her second term on November 6, 2018. As a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and immediate past Chair, she has led the way and worked on a great many initiatives and motions to improve people’s lives and reform systems in the County.

Before her service on the Board, Supervisor Kuehl served eight years in the California State Senate and six years in the California State Assembly. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly, and the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature. She served as chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Natural Resources and Water Committee, and Budget Subcommittee on Water, Energy, and Transportation, as well as the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Dr. Shelley Luce is President and CEO of Heal the Bay, and is responsible for determining Heal the Bay’s science and policy priorities, creating strategic partnerships, and growing public participation across greater Los Angeles. She holds a Doctorate of Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA, and has been a tireless advocate for clean water since she began her career as staff scientist at Heal the Bay in 2001. She has held executive director positions at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the Bay Foundation, and the Environment Now Foundation, as well as a teaching position at Loyola Marymount University. Understanding and advocating for legal protections for coastal environments, preventing pollution and restoring rivers and wetlands have been major focus areas for Shelley’s work at all three organizations.

Shelley led the Malibu Lagoon restoration project completed in 2012, and supervised innovative stormwater capture projects in the highly urbanized LA landscape. She has deep experience in Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and Coastal Act permitting processes through her involvement in discharge permits, dredge and fill permits, ESA consultations, and other work on coastal streams and wetlands protection and restoration. Shelley has also launched programs in environmental research, kelp forest regeneration, MPA monitoring, and public education. In her roles on the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Board and the Wetlands Recovery Project Science Advisory Panel, Shelley helps guide planning and implementation of open space protection and restoration throughout coastal Southern California.

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