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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.
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.
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
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
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.
that makes his message especially appealing.