Business & Economy

LA Mayor Villaraigosa appoints his former chief of staff to Harbor Commission

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has named his former chief of staff to the city's Harbor Commission.

Until last year, Robin Kramer served as top adviser to Villaraigosa – it was her second time as chief of staff to a mayor. The first time, she worked for Richard Riordan in the mid-'90s, and when she took that job she became the first woman chief of staff in the city’s history.

After she worked as a lobbyist for billionaire Eli Broad’s foundation, Kramer returned to city hall to serve the present mayor. She’s also the chair of the board of trustees at Pitzer College, where she was an undergraduate.

L.A.'s Harbor Commission is managing and monitoring a clean air action plan aimed at reducing pollution and neighborhood criticism around the port. A key component of that plan is a program to ban the dirtiest diesel trucks from working the harbor, in part by making trucking companies – not their drivers – pay for newer equipment.

Harbor commissioners have some tough decisions ahead as they balance environmental mandates with increasing competition from other ports for cargo.