Francis Taylor, Asst. Editor
Local elected officials and community members joined the West Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors at a special board meeting and reception on Feb. 13 to recognize Division II Director Gloria D. Gray as the newly elected Chairwoman of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Gray, who was officially sworn in as Chairwoman on Jan. 8, is the first African American to lead the 38-member Metropolitan board, and only the second woman to serve as Chair in its 90-year history. Water industry leaders and elected officials, including Mayor James T. Butts of Inglewood, Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, former Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board Felicia Marcus, Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Dr. George McKenna III, Eastern Municipal Water District Board Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Metropolitan Board of Directors Randy Record, and Metropolitan General Manager Jeff Kightlinger each spoke in support of Gray’s new leadership role in regional water policy.
“As President of West Basin’s Board of Directors, I am pleased and honored that one of our directors now serves in the top leadership position at Metropolitan at a time when Southern California is facing daunting water supply reliability challenges,” said West Basin Board President Scott Houston. “Director Gray has shown an unwavering commitment to representing our communities, and West Basin looks forward to supporting her throughout her tenure as Chairwoman.”
First elected in 2006, Gray represents West Basin’s Division II that includes the city of Inglewood and the unincorporated Los Angeles County areas of Lennox, South Ladera Heights, West Athens and Westmont.
“As Chairwoman of the Metropolitan Water District, I will continue to represent the communities served by West Basin, as I have diligently for the past 13 years. I will now also provide a prominent voice in the water industry for the 19 million people who live in Southern California who rely on Metropolitan water supplied by their local water agency,” said Gray. “We live in a time where we need to recognize that planning for our industry’s future is vital. Climate change and population growth will impact our resources, and we need to promote a strong vision to adapt to these uncertainties. I am honored to serve in this leadership capacity as your elected official.”