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Biography Janice Hahn

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Janice Hahn Janice Hahn
Janice Hahn
U.S. Representative from California's 44th congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party.


Janice Hahn Biography

ENG: Janice Kay Hahn (born March 30, 1952) is the U.S. Representative from California's 44th congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. She was previously a Los Angeles City Councilwoman representing the 15th district from 2001 to 2011. From 1997 to 1999 she served as an elected representative on the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission.

On July 12, 2011, Hahn won a special election for Congress to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Jane Harman. She defeated Republican Craig Huey, a Tea Party-backed direct marketer from the Torrance area, with 55 percent of the vote to Huey's 45 percent.


Early life, education, and business career

Hahn was raised in a politically involved family. She is the daughter of the late Ramona Hahn (née Fox) and the late Kenneth Hahn, a 40-year Los Angeles County Supervisor who started his career in elective politics as a Los Angeles City Councilman. Her uncle, Gordon Hahn, was a member of the California Assembly and a Los Angeles City Councilman from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. Her brother, James Hahn, served as Los Angeles City Controller from 1981 to 1985, City Attorney from 1985 until 2001, and Mayor of Los Angeles from 2001 until 2005. Hahn's maternal grandparents served as missionaries in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s.

Hahn attended Abilene Christian University in Texas, earning a bachelor of science in education in 1974. She taught at the Good News Academy, a private school in Westchester from 1974 to 1978. Her other work in the private sector has included Public Affairs Region Manager at Southern California Edison from 1995 to 2000; Vice President for Prudential Securities in Public Finance, Director of Community Outreach for Western Waste Industries, and Director of Marketing for the Alexander Haagen Company.


Early political career (1997-2001) - Local commissions

Hahn was elected to represent the Fifteenth District on the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission, serving from 1997 to 1999. As a Commissioner, she fought for many of the reforms included in the new charter, including Area Planning Commissions, local representation on the citizen commissions governing Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles, and a system of neighborhood councils.


1998 congressional election

In 1998, U.S. Congresswoman Jane Harman declined to run for re-election, choosing instead to run for Governor of California. Hahn then won the Democratic nomination to succeed Harman, but lost the general election to Republican State Assemblyman Steven T. Kuykendall 49%-47%.


Los Angeles City Council (2001-2011)

Hahn served on the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 15th District, from 2001 to 2011. The 15th District encompasses the San Pedro Harbor and includes the ethnically diverse communities of Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, San Pedro, Watts and Wilmington. She was reelected to her third and final term in November 2009.

She has been called "one of the most pro-labor members" of the City Council, and a "consistent opponent of layoffs and furloughs for city workers." Hahn walked the picket lines with unionized dockworkers in 2002. After the Bush administration suggested it would intervene in the labor dispute by using government troops to operate the ports, Hahn urged non-intervention. "'There's no room for the federal government. There's only one reason for them to get involved, and that's to break the union,' she said." She was the leading force on the City Council behind both the passage of a living wage ordinance for the hotel workers along Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the provision of improved health benefits to LAX employees.

Hahn cites her efforts to clean up the Port of Los Angeles as one of her main accomplishments while on the City Council. The 2006 Clean Air Action Plan, which she and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pushed forward, set a goal of reducing pollution by 45 percent within five years and shifted the movement of goods at the ports to off-peak traffic hours. Hahn also supported the addition of the Clean Trucks Program that requires the 16,000 diesel trucks serving the ports meet 2007 EPA emission standards within five years. She has noted that the ports have been Southern California's largest emitter of greenhouse gasses and diesel emissions and that the Clean Trucks Program also provides for improved working conditions, wages and benefits for port truckers. Prior to the Clean Air Action Plan, she had already shifted about 35% of goods to be moved during off-peak hours. Hahn also helped advance redevelopment projects at the Port of Los Angeles in both San Pedro and Wilmington.

On the City Council, Hahn was a major proponent of gang prevention, intervention, and suppression programs. She led the campaign to pass Measure A, which would have dedicated a sustainable revenue stream for those programs, but fell just shy of the two thirds percentage needed to pass. On a smaller level, she expanded the Gang Alternatives Program to all elementary schools in her district.


2010 Lieutenant Governor election

Hahn ran for California Lieutenant Governor but was defeated in the primary by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, finishing second in a field of three candidates.


U.S. House of Representatives (2011-Present) - Elections - 2011

On February 7, 2011, Hahn announced her intention to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the special election to fill California's 36th Congressional District seat vacated by Congresswoman Jane Harman's departure to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Hahn was one of sixteen candidates from all parties who competed in the special election primary on May 17, 2011. She finished first with 24 percent of the vote; Republican Craig Huey finished second with 22 percent. Because no candidate received more than 50 percent, Hahn and Huey, the top two finishers, faced off in a special runoff election on July 12. Many had expected Debra Bowen, the third place finisher and California Secretary of State, to secure one of the top two spots.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, endorsed Hahn in March 2011, a move the Daily Breeze called "significant" because of the fundraising and get out the vote power of the large organization. As of March 23, 2011, Hahn had received endorsements from Senator Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, California State Senator Ted Lieu, Torrance Firefighters Association Local 1138, and other notable figures such as former LA Laker Earvin “Magic” Johnson and environmentalist and actor Ed Begley, Jr. On April 25, 2011, Hahn secured the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times. Following her victory in the primary, Hahn was endorsed by California Democrats Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (who defeated Hahn in the 2010 primary race for Lieutenant Governor), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Emily's List, an organization that supports women candidates who support abortion rights also endorsed Hahn. On June 5, 2011, Hahn was officially endorsed by primary opponent Marcy Winograd, California State Controller John Chiang, Assemblyman Warren Furutani and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, as well as the gun-control group Brady Campaign.

A poll conducted by the Daily Kos and Services Employees International Union shortly before the July 2011 election had Hahn in the lead over Huey by 8 points, (52 percent to 44 percent) with 4 percent undecided. Her final margin of victory was 9 points, 54.56 percent to 45.44.



After redistricting, Hahn decided to run in the newly redrawn California's 44th district. She faced fellow U.S. Congresswoman Laura Richardson in the Democratic primary, and defeated her. The California Democratic Party endorsed Hahn.



Some of the awards received by Hahn include the Rosa Parks Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Bold Vision Award from the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, the Public Service Award from the African-American Chamber of Commerce, the Recognition Award from the Harbor Area Gang Alternative Program, and enshrinement on the Promenade of Prominence in Watts.


Personal life

Hahn is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles and lives in San Pedro. She is the mother of three children, the grandmother of five, and a member of the Churches of Christ.





February 5, 2013

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