This is very, very good news for our democracy. Laurie Ender, a former top producer for "Entertainment Tonight" and "Access Hollywood," has been elected to the Santa Clarita City Council.
Laurie gave up the syndie newsmag wars some time ago to be a full-time mother and community activist in her 'hood of Valencia. She and her husband, CBS Entertainment senior veep Chris Ender, have deep roots in the community where they have lived for the past 16 years and where they are raising three fabulous sons, Jason, Griffin and Davis.
Laurie is the kind of best-and-brightest, pillar of her community that is desperately needed in politics, particularly at the rubber-meets-the-road local level. Any journalist who's covered one minute of local-yokel politics knows that all too often, those who wind up in elected positions are people who can't actually put a sentence together on their own, let alone handle serious business.Laurie, on the other hand, is schooled in the high-wire act of producing a nightly television news program.
During the past few years she's learned the ropes of public policy by serving as a Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commissioner for the city of Santa Clarita. She has her alpha-mom bona fides as a former president of the Santa Clarita Valley PTA and a member of Valencia High School's Action Team for Partnership, among other school and community board positions.
Pictured above: Laurie with sons Jason (in back), Griffin and Davis, husband Chris and her parents, George and Sue Holt.
Santa Clarita is lucky to have such a formidable talent on its city council. Anyone who knows Laurie knows she will continue to do great things for this fast-growing region. And while this may be way premature, I can't help thinking ... today Santa Clarita, tomorrow Sacramento? Washington, D.C.?
Here's an excerpt from Ender's remarks at her swearing-in ceremony at Santa Clarita City Hall on Tuesday:
Campaigning for office is called “a race” but this, tonight, isn’t the finish line. Instead, I see it as a new event—we’ve gone from a marathon, or maybe the high hurdles, to a relay race. It’s my job to take the baton, the success of the last 20 years, and carry it forward.
We have roads to complete and parks to build. We face economic challenges, transportation issues, and the need to provide good jobs and affordable housing for a growing community. We need to create better health care options and opportunities for our teens and youth. We must work hard to prevent gangs and graffiti from turning our City into a place where we no longer feel safe. Together — this council, this community, and this staff — can ensure the brightest future for Santa Clarita.