The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy has announced the election of its new officers for 2013.
Irma R. Muñoz, member-appointed by the City of Los Angeles, was elected chairperson by a unanimous vote. The Honorable Linda Parks, Ventura County Supervisor, was elected as vice chairperson. The chairperson and the vice chairperson are selected by the voting members of the conservancy for a one-year term.
Muñoz of Los Angeles is the founder and president of Mujeres de la Tierra–a non- traditional environmental non-profit that inspires and teaches women and their children to take ownership and leadership of neighborhood issues and challenges. Previously, she served as chief of staff to a senior ranking state legislator, public relations and community affairs executive with Centre City Development Corporation, a presidential appointee with the Clinton Administration for seven years at the U. S. Small Business Administration, senior manager with TreePeople, and as a member of the City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Commission.
In 2010, Muñoz was named a “community champion” by the Annenberg Foundation for excellence in leadership in Los Angeles County and honored by Senator Curren Price as a “SheHero” for her role in improving the health of families in Senatorial District 26.
Parks is the Ventura County Supervisor from the second district. She previously served as a planning commissioner, city council member, and mayor for the City of Thousand Oaks. Some of her accomplishments include founding the Ventura County Discovery Center, creating laws protecting parks and farmland and writing the City of Thousand Oaks' first campaign reform law.
As an open space advocate, Parks was a champion in the 16-year grassroots effort to preserve what is now Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, which was purchased by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 2003.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, established by the legislature in 1980, is composed of nine voting members and three ex officio members. The nine voting members represent local, state and federal government.
A 26-member advisory committee consists of representatives of local jurisdictions and members appointed by the governor, the Senate Rules Committee and the speaker of the assembly.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy was established by the state legislature in 1980. Since that time, it has helped to preserve over 69,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and urban settings. Its mission is to strategically buy back, preserve, protect, restore and enhance treasured pieces of Southern California to form an interlinking system of urban, rural and river parks, open space, trails and wildlife habitats that are easily accessible to the general public.
The next regular meeting of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is February 25. For more information about the Conservancy visit www.smmc.ca.gov.