Biography of Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe
Supervisor Don Knabe was first elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in November of 1996 and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Supervisor Knabe represents the Fourth District, which is a uniquely diverse area that is home to over two million residents and includes two of the nation’s largest economic hubs; the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and Los Angeles International Airport. The Fourth District is also geographically diverse, stretching from Marina del Rey to the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Long Beach all the way east to Diamond Bar and dozens of cities in between. The Fourth District also includes Catalina Island and San Clemente Island.
Supervisor Knabe served on the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council and was Chair of the State and Local Officials Senior Advisory Committee. In 2006, Supervisor Knabe was appointed to the California Emergency Council.
Supervisor Knabe is President of the Coliseum Commission and the past Chairman of First 5 Los Angeles. He is a Member and past Chairman of the Urban County Caucus of the California State Association of Counties, an Executive Board Member of the California State Association of Counties, and is a former member of the Board of Governors for L.A. Care Health Plan. In addition, he is the Vice Chairman of the Health Sub-Committee for the National Association of Counties and a Trustee at the Aquarium of the Pacific located in Long Beach.
Supervisor Knabe is a leader in regional transportation currently serving as a Director and immediate past Chairman on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Supervisor Knabe is a member of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), where he serves on the Legislative & Communications Committee as well as the Safety & Operations Committee.
Supervisor Knabe has a true passion for the arts and attributes much of his own personal success to an early involvement with music. His enthusiasm for the arts has resulted in the creation of several innovative youth programs and his own arts program, which provides grants to schools and community based organizations throughout the Fourth District.
Supervisor Knabe is an advocate for environmental initiatives throughout Los Angeles County. In 2012, Supervisor Knabe called upon federal and state legislators to amend decades-old laws and regulations to encourage the development of innovative conversion technologies in Los Angeles County, as an alternative to landfills. Through conversion technologies, trash that would get dumped in a landfill would be converted into fuels and energy sources. In addition, Supervisor Knabe has led the County’s efforts to improve overall water quality, including 19 projects within the Fourth District that will lower pollution and divert storm water from the ocean, including the Dominguez Gap Wetlands Project, which was completed in 2008, improved water quality, created recreation opportunities for residents and visitors an enhanced the environment by creating an open space habitat for the community.
Supervisor Knabe is respected for the strength of his grassroots support and considerable experience in local government, which have made him a highly regarded voice, not only at home in the Fourth District, but in Sacramento and Washington D.C. He was elected to the Cerritos City Council in 1980 and served as a Councilman for eight years, including two terms as Mayor. Supervisor Knabe was Mayor during the Cerritos Air Crash in 1986.
As Chief of Staff to the late Fourth District Supervisor Deane Dana, Supervisor Knabe gained invaluable insight into crucial Federal, State and Local issues and the needs of the Fourth District’s two million constituents.
Supervisor Knabe is a veteran having served in the United States Navy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
Supervisor Knabe and his wife, Julie, have been married for 44 years. Julie, a Long Beach native, is a past President of the Cerritos Chamber of Commerce and operates her own customer relations firm, J.D. Knabe & Associates. They have two married sons, and four incredible grandchildren!