David W. Fleming
David W. Fleming, 79, was an instigator of the successful charter reform movement in the City of Los Angeles. In 1997, he and then LA Mayor Richard Riordan, co-chaired a voters’ initiative to reform Los Angeles City government, culminating in the creation of an elected citizens’ Charter Reform Commission, which drafted a new charter for the City of Los Angeles, and which was overwhelmingly adopted by the City’s voters in 1999.
In 2014, he was given the LA Chamber’s Civic Medal of Honor – the highest award given to a resident of the City of Los Angeles for a lifetime or outstanding civic achievements.
In 2013, he was appointed by LA’s Mayor and the President of the City Council to the LA 2020 Commission, a private 10-member organization comprised of government, business and labor leaders, charged with advising the City on steps it must take to assure LA’s fiscal stability in future years and create more jobs. The commission included a former US Secretary of Commerce, US Secretary of Labor and a former California Governor.
He is a board member of Town Hall Los Angeles. He recently served on the board of the Southern California Metropolitan Water District, representing the City of Los Angeles. MWD supplies the water for 19 million Southern Californians. He was selected to chair its Legal and Claims Committee in 2013.
In 2003, he was appointed a trustee of the James Madison Foundation by President George W. Bush. The 12-member Foundation (composed of four members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, two State Governors, two Federal Appellate justices, the Secretary of Education and two private citizens) bestows scholarships on high school teachers in all 50 states to promote the teaching of the founding of our nation.
In 2005, he was appointed by Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, as a Director of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (the “MTA”). He has served as Chair of MTA’s Finance and Budget Committee and on its Planning and Operations Committees.
Fleming chaired the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and 2008, and has served on its Board and Executive committees for many years. He was the co-chair of its 125th Anniversary Committee.
He was the principal creator and the Founding Chair of the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), an organization of 1225 chambers of commerce and business trade groups representing 285,000 businesses located throughout LA County. He continues to serve on the board of BizFed, the BizFed PAC and chairs its BizFed Institute.
In 2009, he, along with former California Governor Pete Wilson, served as co-chairs of the Southern California Leadership Council, a group composed of business leaders and former California governors Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian. He continues to serve on its Board of Directors. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Town Hall of Los Angeles and chairs its Program Committee.
From 2005-2007, he served as the Chairman of the California Regional Leadership Foundation, a statewide organization of regional civic entrepreneurs addressing regional problems. He served as Chairman of L.A. Project Grad, an intensive K-12 educational program helping minority public school students achieve excellence in their educational careers by graduating from both high schools and colleges.
Fleming was the Vice-Chairman of the California Transportation Commission (the “CTC”) on which he served from 1996 through 1999, appointed by the Governor of California. He chaired the CTC’s Public Transit Committee, overseeing major public transit projects throughout California, allocating billions of dollars of federal and state gas taxes and voter-approved bonding revenues for the state’s highways, rail, and water and air transportation infrastructure.
He served for two years as one of five commissioners on the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. From 1993 to 2001, he served as President of the Los Angeles City Board of Fire Commissioners, overseeing the operations of the City’s Fire Department. He has served on the Los Angeles County Business Licensing Commission, the Los Angeles County Judicial Procedures Commission and the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission.
He is past chairman and currently a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the largest economic development organization of its kind in the nation. He served as chair of Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) from 1988 through 1990. Since 1996 and until September of 2011, he chaired the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, a business and industrial collective formed following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, comprised of VICA and all of the Chambers of Commerce, together with other leading business groups within the greater San Fernando Valley area of the County of Los Angeles.
He served as the Chairman of the Board of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, a position held for 25 years. He served on the national Board of Trustees of the Reason Foundation and was the Vice-Chair of the Children’s Planning Council of Los Angeles County, an organization he was instrumental in creating. The Children’s Planning Council coordinated the funding of over $5 billion of federal and state money annually to aid children and families in need throughout Los Angeles County. He is a member of the board of directors of the California Community Foundation, an 80-year old philanthropic organization with over $1.5 billion in assets dedicated to helping charities. He chairs its audit committee. He is a board member of the Keston Institute at the University of Southern California. He was the organizer of the Technology Council of the Motion Picture-Television Industry in 1990, now a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
In addition, Fleming is, or has been, a director of the following organizations: the Los Angeles Police Foundation, the Los Angeles Fire Foundation, the Children’s Bureau of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council Foundation, the Civic Alliance, the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Foundation, the New Majority, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the California Assembly Speaker’s Commission on State Government, the LA Mayor’s Economy & Jobs Committee and the Fernando Award Foundation. He was the vice chair of the $125 million campaign that built the new Performing Arts Center at CSUN. He serves on the board of the Advisors to the Dean of UCLA Law School.
A member of the California State Bar since 1959, he is of counsel to Latham & Watkins LLP. He is a past recipient of the Fernando Award, bestowed annually on a San Fernando Valley resident in honor of a lifetime of volunteer service. In 2000, he was given the Nellie Reagan Award for volunteerism by Holy Cross Hospital, named after President Reagan’s mother. Over the past 50 years, he has devoted over 80,000 hours of service to civic, community, charitable and government organizations. He has been honored by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Jewish National Fund, the American Jewish Committee, the LA Family Housing Foundation, the Southern California Biotech Institute, the California Jaycees, the Los Angeles County League of Woman Voters, various bar associations, the United Chambers of Commerce, the Valley Interfaith Council and other philanthropic and civic organizations. He is the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from CSUN and Augustana College.
In 2010, he was named A lumni of the Year by UCLA Law School. In 2001, he was awarded an Emmy by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for his hosting of an educational television series – LA Fire – a weekly documentary on the activities of the LA City Fire Department.
Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, he moved to the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles in 1956 and graduated from UCLA Law School in 1959. A member of the Southern California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, he and his wife, Jean, have two adult sons residing in Southern California. Over the years, they have personally donated over $6 million to a wide array of charities, including Valley Presbyterian Hospital, CSUN and UCLA Law School.