Torie Osborn Kicks Off Campaign

June 12th, 2011

Assemblywoman Julia Brownley Endorses Osborn as Successor

PACIFIC PALISADES — Civic leader and community organizer Torie Osborn kicked off her campaign for a seat in the California State Assembly on Sunday, with a powerhouse fundraising event that demonstrated tremendous early support, and showcased the influential endorsement of Assemblywoman Julia Brownley.

“I know a leader when I see one, and Torie Osborn is the kind of leader that this district needs,” Brownley said. “She represents the values that we all care about, and – when Torie begins to express her passion about the possibilities for California’s future – she engages you, she inspires you, and you know that you are witnessing something very special.”

The endorsement of Brownley, who currently holds the seat, is a considerable coup. Brownley – facing term limits, next year – is a popular and widely respected leader on education and environmental issues.

More than 200 people – including grassroots activists, political leaders, and progressive luminaries – attended the event, pledging to build a campaign and a dynamic movement to achieve victory for Osborn in the 2012 election.

The event also featured testimonials from some of Osborn’s key endorsers, including former State Senator Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Regional and civic leaders in attendance included USC Annenberg School Dean Geoffrey Cowan, LA Deputy Mayor Aileen Adams, former Santa Monica mayor and transportation activist Denny Zane, LA Civic Alliance Chair George Kieffer, USC professor Manuel Pastor, Santa Monica activist Dolores Press, and Liberty Hill Foundation director Kafi Blumenfield.

The event, held in the back yard of Tim and Cynthia Sexton in Pacific Palisades, netted $40,000, putting Osborn on track to raise $250,000 by the end of the month. Additional event co-chairs were LA Deputy Mayor Larry Frank and former Heal the Bay President Paula Daniels.

“I am honored and humbled by the confidence and commitment that people have demonstrated today,” Osborn said. “Together, we will build a campaign to restore the California dream. Together, we will make real change, and we’ll create a smart government that stands for a clean environment, quality education, universal and affordable health care, and economic opportunity.”

Osborn, a 25-year Santa Monica resident with an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School, is a nationally recognized leader and advocate for social justice. In addition to her work at the Liberty Hill foundation and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, she ran the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, served as a senior advisor on homelessness and poverty to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, served as Chief Civic Engagement Officer for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and is currently senior strategist for California Calls, a network of 25 organizations throughout California committed to common-sense government reform, including fair tax and budget policies.

“Torie is a passionate progressive and a practical leader,” Villariagosa said. “She brings integrity to everything that she does. She is passionate about justice and about equality. She is willing to challenge power, and she is willing to stand up for what is right for California.”

The show of financial, grassroots and elected political support is virtually unprecedented for a first-time candidate, and is particularly impressive, given that a state commission is considering dramatic shifts in district lines, effective the 2012 election. The current district is composed of parts of the coast (including Santa Monica and Malibu), the Santa Monica Mountains, and the San Fernando Valley.

“There is a new California rising,” Osborn said. “There is an emerging coalition – in this district and across the State – ready to return humanity and sanity to California. I am running to serve that coalition and this district, and I am in this race, no matter what!”

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