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Spring 2001
THE ADVOCATE
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When it comes to putting up the good fight on behalf of UCLA, there's no better soldier to have in the field than Howard Welinsky.
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By Cynthia Lee
Photography by Jilly

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR HEROES to honor among the legions of renowned scientists, scholars, dedicated teachers and prominent alumni affiliated with UCLA, you might easily pass over Howard Welinsky '72.

This affable but low-key, unassuming film-distribution executive who prefers working in rolled-up shirtsleeves and lunching at his favorite family-owned diner to wearing Armani suits to Hollywood power lunches looks like your everyday, ordinary face-in-the crowd. You might spot the ever-present UCLA lapel pin on his sports coat and shrug him off as just another Bruin fan.

But you would be wrong.

Among those with his particular calling, Howard Welinsky is the undisputed master of political advocacy. Over a lifetime spent carefully cultivating relationships with elected officeholders and influential Democratic Party officials, Howard Welinsky has become UCLA's most powerful crusader in the ferocious joust for state funds that takes place off the floor of the Legislature - at cocktail-party receptions, fund-raisers, party committee meetings, anywhere where one can grab and hold on to the ear of a legislator.

Take it from one who has seen him in action: "Howard is one of UCLA's most important human assets," says former State House Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa '77, now a Los Angeles mayoral candidate, who has been lobbied many times by Welinsky on UCLA's and UC's behalf. "He's as passionate about the university as he is about politics. He has committed himself to working on behalf of the university wherever he can."

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