Santa Monica City Councilman Kevin McKeown has been named Democrat of the Year for the 41st Assembly District by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

McKeown, who is serving his third term on the council, brings to the Democratic Party the same unique activism and commitment to issues that he continually demonstrates as a member of Santa Monica’s governing board, county party officials said.

His participation in progressive Democratic politics and clubs, including the Santa Monica Democratic Club, has influenced fellow activists and been instrumental in forming important policies on social justice, party officials said.

“Kevin McKeown is widely considered the conscience of the progressive movement in Santa Monica. His commitment to affordable housing, slow and responsible growth, environmental responsibility and social justice is second to none,” said Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, who represents the 41st Assembly District. “I was thrilled to hear that Kevin was selected for this well deserved honor.”

A delegate to the California Democratic Party for years, McKeown became vice chair of the Irish-American Caucus at his first state convention.

“In his three terms as a Santa Monica City Council member, Kevin McKeown has proven to be a dedicated public servant,” state Sen. Fran Pavley said. “He understands that his job is to represent the residents of Santa Monica and not special interest groups.”

Pavley added that McKeown has long been a champion of education, public safety, small businesses, affordable housing, and the environment.

“He helped develop Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Plan and recently fought hard to more than quadruple the amount of redevelopment money the city commits over the next 30 years to affordable housing. He is a natural leader who does not back away from tough issues and has always been a thoughtful, genuine and charismatic individual,” she said.

The county Democratic Party will honor McKeown along with other activists at its annual Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner next month.

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