Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Veteran LA Port Commissioner Resigns

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Joseph Radisich resigned suddenly from the five-member port governing board on Monday without explanation.

Radisich, a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, was appointed to the port board by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and confirmed by the City Council in September 2005.

The departure of Radisich is the second resignation of a Los Angeles port board member in the less than two months. In July, Harbor Commission Vice President Jerilyn Lopez-Mendoza, another Villaraigosa appointee, stepped down from the port board to pursue a new private sector job.

Radisich, whose resignation takes effect Tuesday, has not commented publicly on why he resigned. City officials have said that a search for a replacement on the port board will begin immediately.

Last week, Villaraigosa appointed his former chief of staff Robin Kramer to fill Lopez-Mendoza's vacant seat. She awaits confirmation by the City Council.

The choice of Kramer to fill Lopez-Mendoza's seat has drawn the criticism of some port-area activists who had hoped a local resident would be appointed to the port board.

The appointment of Radisich in 2005 drew similar criticism at the time when it was claimed that Radisich did not live in the port-adjacent San Pedro community. During his confirmation hearing before the City Council, Radisich said he had moved from Manhattan Beach back to San Pedro.

During his tenure on the port board, Radisich was involved in the development and approval of the port's omnibus environmental tome, the Clean Air Action Program, and subsequent CAAP programs such Clean Truck Program.

Radisich served as International Vice President, Mainland, of the ILWU from 2006 to 2010. A longtime leader in the labor community, Radisich also served as president of the Southern California District Council of the ILWU and vice president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. He has also as national strategic coordinator for recent ILWU negotiations, served as vice president of ILWU Local 13, and as a founding member of the ILWU political action committee.