About Marqueece Harris-Dawson
Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson was sworn into office on July 1, 2015 to represent the Eighth District. Within his first 18 months as a Councilmember, he authored Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond for permanent supportive housing, the largest investment towards ending homelessness in the nation. The Councilmember has authorized more affordable housing than anywhere in the city in his first two years in office. On the City Council, Harris-Dawson is a supporter for equity issues like homelessness, jobs, clean streets, and community policing. As a long-time community organizer in South LA, Harris-Dawson relies on his deep roots and relationships.
The Eighth District is home to over 248,000 people with the highest concentration of African Americans in the city located from the Crenshaw District, Hyde Park, and a section of Watts. The Eighth District also consists of Manchester Square, West Adams, Harvard Park, and Magnolia Square. District Eight is nearly 18 square miles, with a median household income of $32,000. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson knows that South Los Angeles’ greatest resource is its people. The people of South Los Angeles deserve a leader, whose mission is to advocate on their behalf, put their concerns above his own, and instill leadership values in the community.
Councilmember Harris-Dawson grew up in South Los Angeles during the crack cocaine epidemic. As gang and police violence knocked on their front door, his parents moved him and his younger brother out of the neighborhood. Disappointed by being disconnected from “his village,” the Councilmember made it his life’s goal to ensure that no other family had to move out of South Los Angeles to keep their children safe.
Councilmember Harris-Dawson returned to South Los Angeles after graduating Morehouse College to work for the family real estate business. In 1995, he joined the Community Coalition, one of the most progressive non-profits in the city. His first campaign publicized the horrendous conditions of inner city high schools and the inequities in the distribution of public funding. It resulted in a groundbreaking $153 million for repair and modernization in South LA schools.
Starting in 2004, Councilmember Harris-Dawson served as President and CEO of Community Coalition, succeeding founder and current Congresswoman Karen Bass. His leadership led a capital campaign to acquire Community Coalition’s headquarters on Vermont Avenue, and grew the organization’s influence, size, and financial standing.
Councilmember Harris-Dawson was honored with various community commendations, recognitions, and awards such as the coveted Do Something “BRICK” Award, The Wellness Foundation Sabbatical Award, the NAACP Man of Valor Award, Durfee Foundation’s Stanton Fellowship, and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair Award. He also served as a board member for the Liberty Hill Foundation. He holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and is an Aspen Institute Pahara Fellow.
Councilmember Harris-Dawson and his wife Karrie are natives of South Los Angeles. His love, compassion, and empathy for the city makes him a great advocate of the future.