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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Fleming Leads the Way in Philanthropy, Involvement

Fleming Leads the Way in Philanthropy, Involvement Companies Best Community Executive Leader (Large): David Fleming By BRAD SMITH Staff Reporter David Fleming is one of those Californians whose name always seems to come up when philanthropy or public service is mentioned. Local government reform? Fleming co-chaired the Los Angeles City Charter Reform initiative placed on the ballot in 1999, leading to the first significant structural overhaul of the city’s government in 75 years. The needs of the state’s aging transportation infrastructure in an era of limited state and federal funding? Fleming served on the California Transportation Commission from 1996 to 1999. Emergency and health services? Fleming served as president of the Los Angeles City Fire Commission from 1993 to 2001, and along with his wife Jean donated $1 million to Valley Presbyterian Hospital. A San Fernando Valley resident since 1956, Fleming does it because of the potential of the city he chose to call home more than four decades ago. “When I moved out here, half the Valley was farms and ranches, and it was about 98 percent Anglo; today it’s an incredible salad bowl of races and languages,” Fleming said last week. “It’s been a dramatic change in 50 years and I think it’s richer for it.” Even at 70, Fleming, a partner in Latham & Watkins’ Los Angeles office, has not slowed down. He still serves on the city’s Ethics Commission, and continues to lobby for a borough system for the city; a change Fleming believes would revitalize Angelenos’ involvement in civic life. “There’s nothing local in a place where it takes you an hour or two to get from where you live to where you are governed,” he said. “If Los Angeles is going to realize its potential as a world class city, it has to do what other world class cities, like London and Tokyo, have done it’s going to happen. It may take 10 years, it make take 20, but it will happen.”

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