Harbor Commission Vice President
Port of Long Beach, California
Bonnie Lowenthal, named to the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in July 2017 and elected Vice President of the Board in July 2018, is a former state Assemblywoman, Long Beach City Councilwoman and Vice Mayor, and member of the Long Beach Unified School District Board.
Ms. Lowenthal was appointed by Mayor Robert Garcia to her first 6-year term on the Commission that manages the City’s Harbor Department and oversees the nation’s second-busiest seaport. She was unanimously confirmed by the City Council as the 68th appointee to the Board since the current Commission was established in 1925. Her appointment makes her the seventh woman appointed and marks the first time in the Port’s history that the five-member Board has had four female members at the same time.
Working with her Commission colleagues, Ms. Lowenthal provides policy direction and oversight for the most extensive capital improvement program in the Port of Long Beach’s history. Continuing with a $4 billion, 10-year investment program to modernize facilities and increase competitiveness for decades to come, capital projects include the nationally significant Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement, Middle Harbor Container Terminal and other terminal developments, roadway, dock and rail improvements, effective innovations to clean and protect the environment at “The Green Port,” and more.
Besides working with various Commission sub-committees, Ms. Lowenthal also represents the Port on national and international trade missions and serves as the Board representative or alternate to a variety of Port-related leadership organizations.
Ms. Lowenthal has spent more than half her life in Long Beach, her adopted hometown, and, in addition to her political career, has served the community as a licensed family counselor, mental health consultant and educator.
In 1994, Ms. Lowenthal was elected to the first of two terms on the LBUSD Board of Education. She then won the first District City Council seat in a 2011 special election and was elected to full terms in 2002 and 2006 before being elected to the Assembly in 2008.
While a City Council member, Ms. Lowenthal was selected by her colleagues as Vice Mayor in 2006. As a Councilwoman, she also served on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. During her time in the Assembly, Ms. Lowenthal chaired the Select Committee on Ports and Transportation, the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Joint Committee on Emergency Management, authoring laws to protect injured workers from unjust medical bills, cut the cost of prison healthcare and make it easier for older persons to stay in their homes.
For her service in the State Legislature, Ms. Lowenthal was named Legislator of the Year by the Year of the California Assisted Living Association, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the California Chiropractic Association.
Her pre-political work is rooted in local Cambodian community, beginning as Director of Planning for the United Cambodian Community in 1989. She also served as the Arts Manager representing a group of Cambodian musicians and began a Cambodian Children’s Orchestra. In 1991, Ms. Lowenthal traveled to Cambodia with a National Red Cross Group to investigate the proliferation of landmines following wars in the country. She also helped initiate a sister city relationship between Long Beach and Phnom Penh and was an official elections observer during Cambodia’s first municipal elections in more than 40 years. Ms. Lowenthal has also served as Clinical Director for the Cambodian Association of America and as a participant on the Cambodiatown Advisory Board.
Ms. Lowenthal currently serves her community on the St. Mary Medical Center Governing Board, the U.S. Vets Advisory Board, the Children Today Board of Directors, the Linc Housing Board of Directors and the Jewish Family and Children’s Services Board of Directors.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Community and Clinical Psychology from California State University, Long Beach.
Bonnie Lowenthal lives in the Carroll Park neighborhood with her longtime partner, Evan Braude, an attorney and former Long Beach City Councilman. She has two adult children with her former husband, U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal, and four grandchildren.
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The Port of Long Beach is the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety, environmental stewardship and sustainability. As the second-busiest container seaport in the United States, the Port handles trade valued at more than $180 billion annually and supports 1.4 million trade-related jobs cross the nation, including 300,000 in Southern California. Founded in 1911, the Port encompasses 3,200 acres with 35 miles of waterfront, 10 piers, 80 berths and 66 gantry cranes. In 2017, the Port handled more than 7.5 million container units, the best year in its history.