Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

February 28, 2004
The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke to Speak at Southwestern's 89th Commencement Ceremony

Southwestern is pleased to announce that the Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, has accepted our invitation to serve as speaker for Southwestern's 89th Commencement ceremony to be held at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, May 16, 2004, at 10:00 a.m.

Supervisor Burke was recently reelected unopposed to her third four-year term as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the Second District. She is currently Chair, having previously served as Chair in 1993-94 and 1997-98. As Supervisor, she is directly involved in meeting the basic needs of people in her district—child welfare, economic development, education, recreation and civic beautification. She was a prime mover in promoting the placement of foster children in homes near their original neighborhoods and has established numerous childcare centers that provide enrichment programs and nutritious meals. She has also brought businesses to underserved areas, provided services to small businesses, promoted computer ownership and the availability of cyber technology to underserved communities, and worked to expand transportation services, parks and other amenities in the district.

Supervisor Burke is a former Chair and presently serves as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors and is also a member of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission and the Local Agency Formation Commission. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Supervisor Burke’s distinguished public service spans more than 30 years. She served in the California State Assembly from 1966-72 and became the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from California in 1972. She served in Congress from 1972 to 1978. She was elected to the Board of Supervisors for the Fourth District (1979-80) and for the Second District since 1992.

Supervisor Burke served as Vice Chair of the 1972 Democratic National Convention, Vice Chair of the 1984 United States Olympic Organizing Committee, Vice Chair of the University of California Board of Regents, and is a past Chair of the Los Angeles Federal Reserve Bank. She has been a member of the boards of numerous organizations and corporations, including Educational Testing Service, the Ford Foundation, MGM/UA and Nestle.

Supervisor Burke received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (1953) and J.D. from the University of Southern California (1956). She practiced law in Los Angeles with several major law firms. Supervisor Burke was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, in 1971 and a Chubb Fellow at Yale in 1972. Over the years, she has received numerous awards and honors from local and national organizations.