January 11, 2018 - Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. Announces Endorsement of Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor of California
Mayor’s endorsement continues momentum of Kounalakis’ campaign for Lt. Governor
San Francisco - Today, the Mayor of Inglewood, James T. Butts Jr. formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor. In his statement he cited her commitment to economic prosperity, expanding healthcare access, more affordable housing and more opportunities for all Californians.
"Eleni is the right choice for California. Her service as a U.S. Ambassador and First 5 Commissioner, experience in delivering affordable homes, and leadership on California’s International Trade and Investment Advisory Council make her the top choice to serve our state well. We need leaders like Eleni with new ideas and a willingness to tackle our state’s challenges like affordable healthcare, equal access to higher education, and economic development. I'm proud to join mayors across California in helping Eleni Kounalakis to break the glass ceiling on the office of Lt. Governor.”
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Mayor Butts Jr,” said Kounalakis. “He is a champion of economic development and helped re-energize the vibrant economy of Inglewood. Cities are leading the way forward in creative solutions to our most pressing issues. Expanding access to healthcare, quality education and more affordable housing are essential to securing a future that benefits all Californians. As Lt. Governor, I will work with leaders like Mayor Butts Jr. to find new ways to encourage economic innovation and prosperity for California.”
Kounalakis comes armed with a growing list of endorsements from prominent Democratic elected officials and organizations, like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, the California Federation of Teachers, EMILY’s List, Equality California, California State University Employees Union SEIU 2579, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Representatives Nanette Barragan, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, Doris Matsui, Jimmy Panetta, Eric Swalwell, and Mike Thompson, former State Senator Mark Leno, Assembly members Blanca Rubio and Kevin McCarty, CA Women’s List, and the Fresno, Marin, San Fernando Valley and Ventura County Young Democrats.
Kounalakis is a businesswoman and diplomat. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as Ambassador to Hungary in 2010. She is a life-long Democrat and five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention and worked as an advocate for early childhood education as a member of California's First 5 Commission and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.
She was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to lead the California International Trade and Investment Advisory Council and served as a member of the San Francisco Port Commission. Prior to serving our country in the diplomatic corps, she was president of AKT Development Corporation in Sacramento, where she helped deliver tens of thousands of affordable homes for middle-class families. Kounalakis was born and raised in Sacramento and is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Dartmouth College. She and her husband, Markos, live in San Francisco where they are raising their two teenage sons.