Commencement 2011 | Spotlight

A tribute to John Mack

Pictured: John W. Mack.

For his values, conscience and commitment to equal opportunities, John W. Mack will be conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees during Cal State L.A.’s 2011 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 11.

Mack, who is distinguished for his service as president of the Los Angeles Urban League, held the post from August of 1969 until his retirement in 2005. Under his leadership, the Los Angeles Urban League has become one of the most successful non-profit community organizations in the city with an annual budget of $25 million.

He was also a leader in the 1960 student civil rights movement in Atlanta, and co-founder and vice chairperson of the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights.

Mack was appointed to the Board of Police Commissioners by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa in August of 2005. He held the position of president of the Police Commission for two consecutive years, and then the position of vice president for two years. In 2009, he was re-elected to the president post.

The CSU will also honor Mack for closing the divides between racial, cultural, economic, gender and religious lines.

For more about Mack:

Commanding state and national economic leaders to address CSULA’s Class of 2011

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, State Controller John Chiang
to inspire and encourage CSULA graduates June 10-11

Two major political forces who deal with today’s most critical issues will inspire Cal State L.A.’s Class of 2011 during the Commencement ceremonies this weekend—one has his hand on the pulse of California’s hemorrhaging budget, the other tasked with helping to create the jobs needed to heal the U.S. economy.

A champion for working families and protecting the environment, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will deliver the keynote speech at the Friday, June 10, ceremony, honoring graduates in the Charter College of Education, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, and College of Health and Human Services.

Known as California’s “independent fiscal watchdog,” California State Controller John Chiang will address the Saturday, June 11, ceremony, honoring graduates in the College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Economics, and College of Natural and Social Sciences.

Pictured: Hilda L.Solis.

Solis, the first Latina elected to the California State Senate, was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed to serve as Secretary of Labor in 2009. Prior to confirmation, she had represented the 32nd Congressional District in California since 2001.

A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, Solis authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.

She also served in the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1994. As the chairwoman of the California Senate Industrial Relations Committee, Solis led the battle to increase the state’s minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75 an hour. She also authored 17 state laws designed to confront domestic violence.

Pictured: John Chiang.

Chiang has been serving his second term as California’s Chief Fiscal Officer since November 2010. He is renowned for taking immediate action to weed out waste, fraud and abuse of public funds, and for making the state’s finances more transparent to the public.

In three years, Chiang has identified more than $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that were denied, overpaid, or subject to collection. He is credited for being instrumental in keeping the state’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, which saved taxpayers millions of dollars. He has also helped local governments navigate complex requirements during these difficult economic times, and ensured that more than $1.5 billion in unclaimed property was returned to the rightful owners.

Chiang also serves on 78 boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, two of the nation’s largest public pension funds.

Here are links of interest: