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Spring 2001

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A lifelong resident of Culver City, Welinsky found his calling to political advocacy early. By age 7, he was walking the precincts with his mother, a city-planning commissioner, campaigning for a school-board candidate. When he was a high school senior, he was appointed the youth chair for Richard Pachtman's race for city council; through Pachtman '45, Welinsky became deeply involved in Culver City politics.

"At the time, I was studying political science at UCLA, which was where I knew ever since grammar school that I would be going." Culver City became his real-life political-science laboratory, "where I could observe what I learned." He saw how city councils voted when faced with a high-profile issue that had the public clamoring in their chambers; he watched as they quietly handled other issues that nobody seemed to care about.

At UCLA, Welinsky was participating politically on another level: joining anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and the UCLA Young Democrats, where he met Terry Friedman '71, Burt Margolin and Rick Tuttle M.A. '64, Ph.D. '75, all bound for political careers.

By the mid-'70s, Welinsky was elevated to the State Democratic Party, where he served on the rules and platform committees. He has attended every Democratic state convention since 1975.

"Politics has always been a part of my life," says Welinsky, who also serves on The UCLA Foundation Board of Governors and the California Postsecondary Education Commission, to which he was appointed by Villaraigosa. "It's not that I felt so much drawn to it. What draws you to go eat at lunchtime? It's what I talk about at the dinner table and with my friends. In fact, it's hard for me to develop a personal relationship with someone who has no interest in politics. Warner Bros. is my profession, but politics is my passion."

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