For nearly three decades, Kelly Hayes-Raitt has earned a reputation as a fearless advocate while working on dozens of California legislative and initiative campaigns to protect the environment, secure consumers’ legal rights, promote educational opportunities, protect workers and fight for affordable and accessible health care.
As executive director of the Coalition for Clean Air and co-founder of Heal the Bay, Kelly fought to protect California’s coast from offshore oil drilling and to promote recycling and energy conservation. She helped pass important bills to set health standards on toxic mold and to phase out dirty diesel school buses.
Kelly worked on Gov. Davis’ memorial for California’s victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks and was the Los Angeles moderator for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “What Every Woman Should Know About Social Security” national teleconference.
She is a national spokesperson to protect civil rights and to champion women’s rights. One of the highlights of her career, however, was suing President Bush over his educational disaster, the No Child Left Behind Act.
As a passionate and effective advocate, she has appeared on more than 500 radio and television public affairs shows including PBS “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” CBS “This Morning,” CNN “Financial News,” and CNN “Moneyline.”
Appointed to the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women, Kelly joined a women’s delegation to Iraq just five weeks before the US-led invasion. The Iraqis touched her so deeply that she returned a few months later and provided on-air commentaries from Baghdad, Basra and Fallouja to KFWB news radio, KNBC local evening news and National Public Radio. During the next two years, Kelly addressed over 200 audiences about her experiences in Iraq – including a group of Congresswomen in the US Capitol.
To honor her humanitarian leadership, the Los Angeles County Commission on the Status of Women named Kelly a 2004 Woman of the Year.
Throughout her life, Kelly has worked tirelessly to fulfill our dreams for a world where all children receive an education that makes them flourish, where we strive for water and energy self-sufficiency, and where we create a more just world for those among us who live without work, homes, healthcare, or dignity.
In 2006, Kelly ran for state Assembly in a hotly contested race. She lost, but we win, as she uses her sabbatical from local politics to bring us a global view of the individual people whose daily lives hinge on Americans’ oil consumption and foreign meddling.