Calabasas council member recognized

ADMIRED—Mary Sue Maurer teaches at Westmark School in Encino, a college prep school for students with learning disabilities. The National Women’s Political Caucus recently honored Maurer.

ADMIRED—Mary Sue Maurer teaches at Westmark School in Encino, a college prep school for students with learning disabilities. The National Women’s Political Caucus recently honored Maurer.

Calabasas City Council member Mary Sue Maurer will be one of 12 individuals featured in a calendar that recognizes the achievements of women in the San Fernando Valley.

National Women’s Political Caucus, San Fernando Valley Chapter will host its annual Women of Achievement luncheon on Sat., Oct. 30 at the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys. The nonpartisan political group works to get women elected and appointed to political office.

“The calendar features 11 remarkable women and one good guy,” said Judith Hirshberg, vice president for the local political caucus.

Other honorees in the 2011 calendar include U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, L.A. Police Department Capt. Kelly Muldarfer, comedian Kathy Buckley and L.A. Unified School District board member Tamar Galatzan.

“The first and best requirement for honorees is that they contribute something to the San Fernando Valley to make the area better,” Hirshberg said.

Maurer was elected to the Calabasas council in 2005. She developed a program for Calabasas Girl Scouts to participate in city decision making and worked to acquire and protect open space and improve the health and lives of her constituents.

“We admire Mary Sue because she had the courage to run for a City Council seat—not always easy for a woman. She also is a capable leader,” Hirshberg said.

Maurer is a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, the Calabasas Rotary Club and the Headwaters Corner board. She helped to create legislation that prohibits the use of plastic foam packaging at local retail food establishments and spearheaded efforts to require 80 percent of the apartment buildings in Calabasas to be smoke-free by 2012.

As a council member, Maurer also partnered with the Rotary Club to assist families in crisis and developed programs to promote emergency preparedness for civilians.

“It’s an honor to be selected for this recognition,” Maurer said.

“It’s so important to have a woman’s perspective in decision making, and the work of the National Women’s Political Caucus is critical to bringing more women into politics and elected office.”

Maurer said she’s committed to listening to and addressing the varying needs of her constituents.

“I take my role as representative of Calabasas residents very seriously and work hard to get their voices heard.”

Maurer began a program that allows Girl Scouts to sit at the dais in the Calabasas council chambers to run a meeting and deliberate issues.

The early introduction to politics motivates girls to be involved in local government and encourages them to expand their interest in state and national affairs, Maurer said.

“I didn’t attend my first government meeting until I was a mom and went to a school board meeting to voice my opposition to a pending decision,” she said.

Before being elected to the council, Maurer championed the campaign to build Alice C. Stelle Middle School.

Maurer teaches 12th-grade government and economics, and ninth-grade world geography and cultures at Westmark School in Encino, a college preparatory school for students with learning disabilities.

Before that she taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District and worked as a field deputy for former Assemblymember Fran Pavley. She also was deputy press secretary to former Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi and worked in the public relations divisions of Walt Disney Co. and Blue Shield of California.

During her free time, she enjoys being with her three teenage sons. She also plays tennis and likes to watch foreign and independent films.

Other honorees in this year’s calendar are: Millie Jones, a deputy supervisor for L.A. Supervisor Michael Antonovich; Dr. Vena Ricketts of Olive View Medical Center; Jay McCaslin, vice president of student services at Pierce College; Marsha Noval of Valley Interfaith Council; Marge Rutan, president of Inspiring Notes; and Judi Ross, vice president of Valley Community Services.

To purchase the calendar or reserve a seat at the luncheon, email Hirshberg at jhirshberg or Roberta Boardman at rboardman@socal

The calendars cost $15. The luncheon is $35 for members of the caucus and $40 for other guests. It will take place from 11:30 to 1 p.m. The Japanese Gardens is at 6100 Woodley Ave., north of Burbank Boulevard.

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