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Spring 2001
THE ADVOCATE
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"Wherever" might be the hallways of the State Capitol, where you can spot him chatting up House Speaker Bob Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks) or State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco). Or in a hotel room where Welinsky, relaxing on a long weekend at Lake Tahoe, got an urgent request from university officials to talk to former State Sen. Bill Lockyer, now California attorney general, about a specific issue. "Fortunately, he called me back in two hours," says Welinsky, who interrupted his weekend plans to wait in his room for Lockyer's return call.

It's all part of the life of UCLA's most valued volunteer advocate. Among state politicos, Welinsky is a name that is inseparable from two causes: UCLA and Israel.

Sure, Howard Welinsky has his day job in Burbank, where he puts in grinding 14-hour days poring over movie box-office figures as senior vice president of administration for Warner Bros. Pictures Distributing. But 24/7, he remains vigilant and connected via phone, fax and e-mail to staffers at UCLA Government and Community Relations and at the UC Office of the President, State Governmental Relations. He gets up-to-the-minute bulletins on legislative action off the Internet - ever protective of the interests of UCLA and the University of California.

For all the thousands of dollars he makes in political contributions to support politicians who share his commitment to the mission of public higher education and to Israel, for all the hours he devotes to building goodwill with lawmakers, Howard Welinsky is a UCLA alumnus hero with titanium-hard loyalty who has time and time again parlayed his considerable political clout to win make-or-break votes for UCLA and UC during white-knuckle moments when the clock is ticking down and millions of dollars hang in the balance for researchers and educators.

Unlike lobbyists who are paid to push the agenda of special interests, he carries the message for higher education, for what it can achieve for California and its citizens, straight from his heart.

And that makes his message especially appealing.

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