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Congresswoman Linda Sanchez

Representing the 38th District of CA

Linda Sánchez Pays Tribute to Lillian Kawasaki (July 24, 2013)

July 24, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to honor the life of Lillian Kawasaki, Board Director of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. For more than three decades, Kawasaki served the Los Angeles community, directing major initiatives to protect the environment and improve air and water quality.

To view the video clip of Congresswoman Sánchez speaking on the House floor, click here.

Below is a copy of Congresswoman Sánchez’s statement for the Congressional Record:




Rep. Linda T. Sánchez

July 24, 2013

Thank you Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to honor the life of Lillian Kawasaki, who proudly served the Los Angeles community for more than three decades, working tirelessly to protect our environment.

Lillian was an inspiration and a trailblazer. In 1990, she was named general manager of the Department of Environmental Affairs for the City of Los Angeles, becoming the first Asian-American in city history to be appointed a department chief. 

It is because of Lillian’s leadership that Los Angeles launched major initiatives in air and water quality protection and environmental cleanup. Local businesses began investing in renewable energy—thanks to Lillian’s vision.

I had the privilege of working with Lillian when she served as Board Director for the Water Replenishment District. It would be hard to find a public official more involved in her community than Lillian.

On a personal note, it was an honor to call her a close friend. Lillian was an extraordinarily giving person. She always remembered birthdays and anniversaries. She asked me often how my family and my son were doing because she truly cared. 

I offer my condolences to Lillian’s husband, to her family and to her loved ones. She was a tremendous public servant, a shining example for others and a generous and truly kind human being and I will miss her greatly.