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Mary M. Lee

Commissioner Mary Lee
Vice Chair

Mary M. Lee consults with community-based organizations, public officials, government agencies and philanthropy to dismantle racially biased systems and structures and build just and equitable neighborhoods. She is a former Deputy Director of PolicyLink, a national advocacy organization working to advance racial equity, economic and social justice. During her tenure at PolicyLink, she provided research, strategic planning, technical assistance, and training to public and private agencies collaborating to build healthy communities. She has co-authored reports and journal articles on access to healthy food, the built environment, and the impact of place and race on health.

A practicing attorney for over 30 years, Mary has experience using civil rights, land use and economic development strategies to revitalize neighborhoods and enhance public participation in the policy arena. She has focused on the legal rights of low-income people, utilizing her expertise in affordable housing, job creation and redevelopment law. Since 2019 she has been facilitating the development of a regional initiative building leadership and power for young people of color.

Mary has been an adjunct professor of law and has developed and taught courses at the undergraduate and community college level on community development and civil rights. For more than ten years, she taught a class she designed on Fair Housing/Fair Lending regulations as part of the Mortgage Finance certificate program within the Los Angeles Community College District at L.A. Trade Technical College. In addition, Mary taught courses at the community college level on topics such as  Health Policy Advocacy, Health Leadership and Community Development, and Community Participatory Research.

Mary has served as a Transportation Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles and as a member of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council Leadership Circle. She was formerly a member of the Los Angeles County Community Prevention and Population Health Task Force and is Vice-Chair of the board of the Community Coalition. In 2016, Mary was named by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Commission for Women as one of the “Women of the Year”, and she recently completed a Stanton Fellowship by the Durfee Foundation.

Mary is a native of Los Angeles and holds a BA in Political Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California and a JD from U. C. Berkeley School of Law.