Steering Committee Members
A resident of Ocean Park since 1984, Abby is dedicated to social and economic justice. She has served as chair of the Pier Commission, the Santa Monica Pony Baseball League, and in many other volunteer capacities in Santa Monica and statewide. She works as a grant writer and consultant to nonprofit organizations and local governments.
Resident of Ocean Park since 1974. Former Elementary School teacher, former Exec Director of Ocean Park Community Organization, former Council Deputy in the City of West Hollywood, former Director of Child Development Services in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, currently retired. Served on the Santa Monica Pier Board twice, former member of the City Council for 8 years and Mayor for 3 of those years, am the City of Santa Monica’s representative to Metropolitan Water District Board, serve on the First 5 LA Commission Board of Directors, am an elected member of the Ocean Park Association Board, am on the Steering Committee of Climate Action Santa Monica, and on the Early Education and Childcare Task Force Steering Committee.
Pam O’Connor was a member of the Santa Monica City Council for 24 years (1994-2018) and served as Mayor for five of those years. She currently serves as an alternate Director on the Metrolink Board, Southern California’s Regional Rail Authority and is an alternate on the Clean Power Alliance Board representing Santa Monica. She is a member of the State of California Road Charge Technical Advisory Committee and is on the Advisory Board of UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. She currently serves on the Boards of the California Transit Association, Abundant Housing Los Angeles, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability--USA, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Los Angeles County BizFed. Pam served on the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments, the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization, and served as its President. She also spent 14 years on the LA County Metro Board and was Chair of that board in 2007 leading efforts to place the sales tax Measure R on the ballot. That measure helped fund construction of Expo Light Rail to Santa Monica; Pam was also a member of the Expo Construction Authority Board and served as its Chair. She was President of CalCog, the state’s association of Councils of Governments and on the boards of the National League of Cities, National Association of Regional Councils and the Local Government Commission.
Bill Parent is a recently-retired lecturer in public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where he worked as an administrator and teacher for 20 years. He taught courses on Leadership and Management of Nonprofit Organizations, Leadership in the Public Interest, and Urban Homelessness Policy. He served as associate dean for administration, associate dean for advancement, and associate dean for strategic initiatives. He was acting director of the former UCLA Luskin Center for Civil Society from 2009 to 2015.
In Santa Monica, Bill has served on the Social Services Commission since 2015, including a term as chair, 2018-2019; his focus has been on homelessness. He was also co-chair of the Santa Monica Homelessness Steering Committee, 2017-2018.
Before coming to UCLA in 2000, Bill was on the senior staff of the Harvard Kennedy School from 1986 to 1999, including five years as executive director of the Harvard University-Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Program.
He is a former newspaper reporter who has published articles in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and California Policy Options. He also previously worked for the Paterson New Jersey Board of Education, New York City Board of Education, California Governor’s Office of Appropriate Technology during Gov. Jerry Brown’s second term, and for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he also received his B.A and an Ed.D.
Bill and Randi Parent’s two children are graduates of SAMOHI. Randi, who worked for Heal the Bay for 17 years, works at the Park Century School in Culver City and serves on the Santa Monica Pier Corporation Board. In retirement, Bill recently completed a full-length screenplay based on a 1934 murder case that Randi wrote about in The Davis Enterprise 40 years ago (just in case anyone who reads this far knows a producer).
Cynthia has received local and national recognition for her work as Co-Founder/Director of Santa Monica Spoke and her efforts to make Santa Monica a better place to live, walk, bike, work and play through community engagement, education and encouragement. Cynthia raised her son here in Santa Monica and has become a dedicated advocate focused on collaborations to establish policy and infrastructure for safer walking, biking and multi-mobility as a means for creating more sustainable and healthy communities locally, regionally and statewide - in addition to efforts at the national level. Cynthia is Founder and Co-Chair of the Santa Monica Safe Streets Alliance working closely with Climate Action Santa Monica and other partner organizations, and has been a Steering Committee member of SMF since launch. In addition to her local advocacy she is currently serving as Board Chair of the California Bicycle Coalition and is a former Board Member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Cynthia is an avid community gardener and a Certified Cycling Instructor (LCI) with the League of American Bicyclists and has enthusiastically led Santa Monica’s Safe Routes to School and other education and encouragement programs for the last decade.