LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE LOS ANGELES HARBOR COMMISSION; DIANE MIDDLETON VOTED VICE PRESIDENT
SAN PEDRO, Calif. – July 20, 2023 – The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has elected former U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard as its new president. The five-member commission also voted in Diane Middleton as its new vice president. Both started their new roles on Thursday immediately after their unanimous election.
“I am honored that Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, an icon in public service, would agree to continue her service to our City on the Board of Harbor Commissioners and I am excited that she has just been elected as Board President,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “I have known and fought alongside Commissioner Roybal-Allard for many years, and her experience in Congress, where she secured critical funding for Port operations and advocated for the equitable treatment of communities impacted by truck traffic, will be an asset to both the Port and to the City.
“I am also pleased to see Commissioner Diane Middleton be elected as Board Vice President. Commissioner Middleton is a committed, proven leader who understands the Port’s significance to the surrounding community and to its workforce. I am confident that the Board’s leadership will help guide the Port as it continues to be the #1 port in the Western Hemisphere while being a good steward of the environment and our communities.”
“It is an honor and privilege to serve and lead the Los Angeles Harbor Commission,” said Roybal-Allard. “I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and Mayor Bass to assure that our Port remains not only a strong economic engine but a model for sustainability and social responsibility. At the same time, we will be working to strengthen our relations with stakeholders and make sure that the community prospers from the success of the Port.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with our committed commissioners and staff and collaborate with Council District 15, the Port of Long Beach and labor, community and environmental groups to move our port toward meeting the economic and environmental goals we have set,” said Middleton. “We have the chance to make the Port of LA a center of job development through our support of the “blue economy” (Alta Sea) and our Workforce Training Center. The challenges are significant but I am hopeful we will make progress.”
Roybal-Allard was appointed to the five-member board by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in May 2023. Roybal-Allard previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives for three decades and was the first Mexican-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Roybal-Allard led the effort to secure $57 million to dredge the Port of Los Angeles Main Channel and advocated for numerous other Port-related security grants. Roybal-Allard also served in the California State Assembly from 1987 to 1992.
Diane Middleton began serving on the Harbor Commission in 2019. A resident of San Pedro, Middleton is an attorney and expert in labor and maritime law, long active in Harbor area labor and civil rights issues. She began her law career representing injured auto, steel and hospital workers, and was the first in the 1970s to file a class action asbestos lawsuit on behalf of shipyard workers. In 1979, Middleton established her own law practice in San Pedro, representing injured longshoremen and shipyard workers until her retirement in 2010.
The other three Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners include Ed Renwick, a board member since 2013; Michael Muñoz and I. Lee Williams, both appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Bass in May 2023.
The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners oversees the management and operation of the Port of Los Angeles. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles and confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council. They serve five-year terms and elections are typically held every July for the offices of president and vice president. All five members of the Harbor Commission are volunteers.