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Councilmember Pam O'Connor

Councilmember Pam O’Connor has championed policies and partnerships that enhance community livability and wellbeing on the Santa Monica City Council since 1994 and has served as Mayor five times. She is particularly interested in issues that advance sustainability and mobility.

Pam O’Connor is a member of the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization. She serves on SCAGs Executive Committee and is Chair of SCAG’s Legislative and Communications Committee. As SCAG’s President in 2012 she led the 84-member Regional Council in the unanimous adoption of the region’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy. She represents SCAG on California’s Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee.

Councilmember O’Connor is the First Vice-President of CalCog, the state association of Councils of Governments. She is Vice-Chair of the Local Government Commission and a member of the Boards of the National Association of Regional Councils, the California Transit Association and Democratic Municipal Officials. She is a member of the Board of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, USA and is Chair of ICLEI’s North America Regional Executive Committee. 

Councilmember O’Connor is Chair of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board that oversees building of the light rail line from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. She served on the Los Angeles County Metro Board from 2001 to 2015 steering the planning, coordination, design, construction, and operation of the transportation/transit system for the nation’s most populous county. As Metro Board Chair in 2007 she established Metro’s Sustainability Committee and currently serves as Chair of Metro’s Sustainability Committee. 

Councilmember O’Connor serves on Advisory Boards for the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute and UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. She participated in the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is an active member of the National League of Cities having served on its Transportation Infrastructure and Services Committee, Information Technology and Communications Committee, and on the Board of Women in Municipal Government. 

Councilmember O’Connor also served on the California Coastal Commission as an alternate from 2010 to 2012. This quasi-judicial regulatory body oversees land use issues that impact California’s coastline, with the goal of protecting and conserving the environment and preserving public access to this natural resource.

Pam O’Connor’s achievements have been recognized with the LA Streetsblog Elected Official of the Year 2013, by the Southern California transportation coalition Mobility 21 as Public Sector Leader of the Year Award (2012), Move LA Award (2012), LA League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion Award (2012), Los Angeles County Chair’s Green Leadership Award (2008), American Planning Association—LA Distinguished Leadership Elected Official (2006) and she was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Transportation in Southern California by the Women’s Transportation Seminar (2010).

As a professional urban planning consultant, Pam O'Connor specializes in historic preservation. She has worked on significant historic buildings throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles City Hall Seismic Rehabilitation, and at institutions including the University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, California State University campuses, Los Angeles Community College, and Occidental College. Her expertise includes environmental review and rehabilitation of historic resources. Other previous positions of note include: Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Northridge Earthquake Recovery Partnership Program; Planner for the City of Pasadena; and Research Associate at the Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Pam O’Connor holds Masters’ degrees in Planning and in Technology Management from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Communications from Southern Illinois University. 

Councilmember O’Connor views community wellbeing as the natural next step in the evolution of local government, as well as a way to advance the connection between mobility and sustainability issues by looking at their impact through the lens of human flourishing.

Last updated: 3/24/2015
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