For Immediate Release: August 24, 2018
Contact: Nancy Jackson (213) 978-1960
At its meeting on Tuesday, the Ethics Commission elected Serena Oberstein as president and Melinda Murray as vice president. Oberstein and Murray will serve in these capacities for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.
Oberstein is an independent consultant providing expertise on strategy, advocacy, and operations for social impact non-profits throughout the country. She most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for Vision To Learn, a national nonprofit where she oversaw strategic growth and service delivery across 10 states and 75 school districts equipping children in high-need communities with the glasses they need to receive a more equitable education. She previously worked as the Southern California Regional Director for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, as well as on policy issues for Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, New York City Small Business Services, and J Street. Oberstein served in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration as a policy analyst and community liaison. She also has experience working on campaigns for candidates running for federal, state and local office. Oberstein holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University. Oberstein was appointed by City Council President Pro Tempore Mitchell Englander to a five-year term ending June 30, 2019.
Melinda Murray was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a Deputy District Attorney of Los Angeles County, where she has dedicated her career to protecting the victims of child abuse, domestic violence, and sex crimes. She was assigned to the elite Sex Crimes Division where she specialized in prosecuting drug assisted rapes and the presentation of DNA and forensic evidence in serial rape cases. She has also been assigned to the Compton Branch Office, the Airport Branch Office, and the Bureau of Fraud and Corruption. Currently, Murray is assigned to the Parole Division where she prosecutes parolees who are registered sex offenders and gang members. Murray was the president of the John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles in 2013. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Black Lawyers and is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the National Bar Association. Murray received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctor degree from UCLA School of Law. Murray was appointed by City Council President Herb Wesson to a five-year term ending June 30, 2022.
The Ethics Commission is comprised of five individuals who serve staggered five-year terms. The Mayor, the City Attorney, the Controller, the City Council President, and the City Council President Pro Tem each have one appointment to the commission. The commissioners elect their own president and vice president each year. In addition to Oberstein and Murray, Araceli Campos, Shedrick Davis, and Andrea Sheridan Ordin also serve as commissioners.
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The Ethics Commission was created by Los Angeles voters in 1990 to impartially administer and enforce the City’s governmental ethics, campaign financing, and lobbying laws.