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City Mourns Loss of Commissioner Seville-Jones

Mar 11, 2019 09:30PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The city of Manhattan Beach on Monday announced the passing of planning commissioner and attorney Sandra Seville-Jones.

Seville-Jones was known as a tireless community volunteer. She served as a member of the Planning Commission (2007-2012, 2017-2019) and Parking and Public Improvements Commission (2005-2007). Additionally, she was deeply involved in the community through Leadership Manhattan Beach (LMB), the Hometown Fair Board, and biennial City Council candidate forums.

Seville-Jones passed away on March 9, due to complications following surgery.

“The city is deeply saddened by the loss of Sandra Seville-Jones. Sandra was always thoughtful, prepared, insightful, and courteous to those who appeared before the commission. More than that, she was a true friend and will be greatly missed,” said Mayor Steve Napolitano.

"I had the privilege of serving with Sandra on the Manhattan Beach Planning Commission and being friends with her for 20 years. She was an intelligent, personable and kind individual who served our community well," said former Mayor Wayne Powell. "She will be deeply missed."

Seville-Jones was a corporate lawyer at Munger, Tolles & Olson since 1986 and served as the co-managing partner since 2009. She specialized in corporate, business and securities law. Known as an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, she frequently spoke at conferences focused on women in law. She also served as a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and championed benefits to support working parents.

“This is an enormous loss for our firm, our clients and the entire legal profession,” said Ron Olson, the firm’s name partner. “Sandra was a close friend and colleague, a beloved firm leader, a champion of diversity and junior lawyers, and a great legal mind. She owned the values our firm most cherishes and enhanced them every day she was with us. Our firm is shocked and deeply saddened by Sandra’s passing, and our thoughts are with her family.”

Beyond Manhattan Beach, she co-founded the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate Commission, which supports academic debate teams in Los Angeles area public schools. She also served on the boards of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Hope Street Friends, a child care center founded by the firm under her leadership, located across the street from the firm in downtown Los Angeles.

Seville-Jones earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, which highlighted her career in a “Women in Leadership” feature in the school’s Fall 2017 magazine.

The city of Manhattan Beach will adjourn its next City Council meeting scheduled for March 19 in her memory.

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