Valerie Lynne Shaw was reappointed by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and unanimously confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council last week to an unprecedented fourth term as a commissioner on the Board of Public Works, the City’s only full-time non-elected policy-making body.
Shaw, along with four other commissioners, serves jointly as general manager of the Department of Public Works, the City’s second largest municipal agency with more than 5,800 employees and an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion. The department is responsible for the development and maintenance of the physical infrastructure of the city including streets, lights, trees, bridges, sidewalks, and water treatment plants. Also, the department designs and manages construction of public buildings such as libraries, police and fire stations, child care and recreation centers.
Shaw was first appointed to the Board in 1996. Currently, she coordinates the South Los Angeles (SLA) Initiative on behalf of Mayor Villaraigosa and Council members Janice Hahn, Bernard Parks, Jan Perry and Herb Wesson. The initiatives are a strategic common agenda to strengthen the socio-economic condition of South L.A.
She is a founding member of Mayor Villaraigosa’s Faith-Based Construction Initiative and the Bureau of Sanitation’s Summer Youth Employment Program. In the international arena, Shaw created the department’s International Technical Assistance Program which provides equipment and technical guidance to disadvantaged countries.
A native Angeleno and Crenshaw-area resident, her activism follows in the footsteps of her mother, noted civic leader Ann Shaw, and her father, the late Leslie N. Shaw Sr., the first African American postmaster of Los Angeles.