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Tuesday June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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Riverside CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 2

Photo of Penny Newman

Penny Newman

Educator / Non Profit Director
12,939 votes (24.51%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Elevate the importance of community-based decision-making in local government.
  • Fostering sustainable and community-responsive development.
  • Address chronic financial crisis through aggressive economic planning that builds wealth of the region that benefits the many, not the few.



Profession:Educator / Non-Profit Director
Founder / Executive Director, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (1993–2018)
Western Regional Organizer, Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste (1986–1993)
Community Organizer / Co-Founder, Concerned Neighbors in Action (1978–1993)
Special Education Teacher, Severe Disorder of Language (SDL) class, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools (1981–1986)
Instructional Aide, Jurupa Unified School District (1975–1980)


Cal State University at Fullerton Course work toward Masters Degree, Speech and Language Pathology with an emphasis in Neuropathology. (1982)
Cal State University at Fullerton Bachelor of Science (With Honors), Communicative Disorders (1981)
Riverside City College (Now Riverside Community College) Associate of Arts Degree (with Great Distinction), General Education (1979)


Penny J. Newman is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), a 39 year old organization that has been actively working to improve the social and natural environments for Riverside and San Bernardino County residents. Penny is an internationally recognized leader who has dedicated her life to advancing the living conditions of working class families by addressing environmental justice issues at the local, state, and federal level.


Penny started her career as an educator for Jurupa Unified School District. She went on to serve as a Special Education Teacher for the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, focusing on special education students with Severe Disorder of Language. When children and community member’s health deteriorated due to toxic chemicals, Penny took on the historical challenge against Stringfellow Acid Pits, Riverside County’s Cold War-era toxic waste dump. Through Penny’s leadership, Stringfellow was identified as a Superfund site, and federal money was secured to alleviate the exposure damage to local residents.


Penny demonstrated true leadership when she was the only person to testify against the appointment of Rita Lavelle as Assistant Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. Lavelle was initially confirmed by the Senate but Penny provided sufficient evidence to officials that proved Ms. Lavelle had lied before Congress, leading to Lavelle’s incarceration for perjury.


Penny currently serves on the Department of Transportation’s California Freight Advisory Committee; Southern California Air Quality Management District’s Home Rule Advisory Committee; and the Air Quality Management Plan Advisory Committee. She previously served on the California Air Resources Board’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee for the implementation of AB 32, California’s groundbreaking climate change law.


As a Riverside County Supervisor, Penny will continue her commitment to uplift the quality of life of residents. Riverside County has a sizable budget of $5.4 billion and its mismanagement, lack of transparency, and nonstrategic spending has made the county ill-equipped to serve working class families who contribute to our economy. Penny wants to assure that both state and federal resources are distributed in a fair and equitable manner.


Penny and her husband Jan, a retired Fire Chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), reside in the City of Jurupa Valley. They are proud parents of two sons— Eric, a successful small business owner of Ted’s Rod Shop, and Shawn, a Deputy Chief with CAL FIRE. Penny holds an Associate of Arts Degree with Great Distinction from Riverside Community College; and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Communicative Disorders from the California State University at Fullerton.


Penny has written extensively on environmental justice issues and is featured in several books discussing solutions to increase the quality of life for residents. Penny is a highly sought after speaker and advisor and conducts workshops around the nation and internationally. She has appeared on television shows such has The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, and was the subject of HBO’s America Undercover documentary, Toxic Time Bomb.


Penny is featured in the California State Museum Exhibit on California’s Remarkable Women. Some of Penny’s most notable recognition includes: Woman of the Year Award from the California State Senate; Citizen of the Year from the West Riverside Business Association; California Leadership Sabbatical Award from The California Wellness Foundation; and Woman of Achievement Award from the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • The Riverside County Democratic Party
  • U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
  • AFL-CIO, Central Labor Council of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

Organizations (12)

  • Sierra Club
  • California League of Conservation Voters
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest
  • AFSCME - United Domestic Workers
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1167
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 440
  • California Nurses Association
  • Riverside Community College District Faculty Association
  • Teamsters Joint Council 42
  • Teamsters Local 1932

Elected Officials (6)

  • (Ret) Supervisor Bob Buster
  • Assemblymember Eloise Reyes-Gomez
  • U.S. Congressman Mark Takano
  • (Ret) Supervisor Melba Dunlap
  • Assemblymember Jose Medina
  • Senator Connie Leyva

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Our community has a history of being taken advantage of by outside developers, politicians, and bureaucrats who make decisions about our community without the input of our residents. I have seen what happens when residents don’t have a voice, and I'm running for supervisor to bring people together, make decisions as a community, and set a vision for what we want our neighborhoods and local economy to look like.

Videos (1)

— April 27, 2018 Penny Newman For Supervisor 2018

Our families in Riverside County deserve better. We can do better. If we come together, if we stand together, we will do better.

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