Senator Ben Allen has been representing the Westside, Hollywood, and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County in the California State Senate since 2014 and is running for his third and final Senate election.
Ben chairs the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee and co-chairs the Legislature’s Environmental Caucus, is immediate past Chairman of the Legislative Jewish Caucus, and is Chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Arts and the Senate Select Committee on Aerospace and Defense. He previously served as Chair of the Senate Education Committee and Chair of the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
Ben has thrown himself into the important work of state government, focusing on wise decision-making and pushing for reforms that address systemic inadequacies in our state. He has authored nearly 50 new laws in a variety of areas, from environmental protection to electoral reform.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Ben served as President of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education, lecturer at UCLA Law School, and worked as an attorney at the law firms of Bryan Cave LLP and Richardson & Patel and at the nonprofit Spark Program. While at law school, Ben served as the voting student member of the University of California Board of Regents and was a summer judicial clerk with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Prior to law school, Ben worked in Washington DC for the Latin American team of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and then as Communications Director for New York Congressman Jose Serrano.
Ben grew up in his Senate District and attended public schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade, graduating from Santa Monica High School in 1996. His father, Michael, spent his career on the English Department faculty at UCLA and mother, Elena, was a public school teacher and artist, and served as Chair of the City of Santa Monica’s Arts Commission. His brother Will has a doctorate in public health policy and works for LA County Dept. of Public Health. Ben has a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in History from Harvard University, a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge, and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley. Fluent in Spanish, Ben is a Senior Fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project. He and his wife Melanie, an attorney, have a little son, Ezra and live in Santa Monica.