New Members of the Commission on Children and Families

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas has named the Hon. Candace Cooper (Ret.) and Sydney Kamlager, district director for Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, to the Commission on Children and Families, a volunteer group of advocates that advises and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on child welfare issues.

Justice Cooper, who has nearly three decades of experience in the justice system, presided over a wide range of cases, including civil, felony, death penalty trials as well as juvenile dependency and delinquency.

She also has specialized in resolving disputes in highly complex matters after serving more than nine years on the California Court of Appeal, and she served in Los Angeles Superior Court for 12 years. Justice Cooper also has extensive academic experience, having served as a faculty member for the Continuing Judicial Studies Program, the Judicial College and the New Judges Orientation, teaching courses in evidence, jury selection, fairness and elimination of bias.

“I am delighted to be a part of the important work of the Commission on Children and Families,” said Justice Cooper. “As a lifelong resident of Los Angeles County and having served as a judge and justice for nearly 30 years, I am aware of the critical issues that the Commission is facing. I hope that my experience and insight will assist the Commission in its important work.”

Sydney Kamlager, district director for Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, has been selected for her work on behalf of children as an advocate for those who are less fortunate.

Before joining Assemblymember Mitchell’s staff, Kamlager oversaw the public policy agenda for Crystal Stairs Inc., a $130 million non-profit child development corporation. At Crystal Stairs she helped to create and disseminate policy and budget analyses for child care issues as well as oversee major studies on child care, poverty and policies that impact the working poor.

Kamlager said she was eager to get to work: “My life and work has revolved around finding ways to give voice to the voiceless. There is value in supporting, expanding and making services available and accessible to our most vulnerable populations. I see my contribution to this Commission as an extension of that belief system.”

“Both of these women bring powerful experience and expertise to the commission,” said Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “Justice Candace Cooper’s experience in the justice system, coupled with Sydney Kamlager’s successful advocacy on children’s issues will bring significant value to the children’s commission.”