D — State Senator, 26th District
State Senator Ben Allen, a Democrat, represents the 26th District, which includes Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, Malibu, Rancho Palos Verdes, Santa Monica, Torrance, and parts of Los Angeles. First elected to the State Senate in 2014 with Govern for California’s help, Ben is permitted under California’s term limits to serve in the legislature through 2026.
Ben grew up in the district and attended public schools through 12th grade. After graduating from Harvard, Ben worked on Capitol Hill for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as Communications Director for Congressman Jose Serrano D-NY. While attending UC Berkeley’s Law School, Ben served on the University of California Board of Regents and as a judicial clerk with the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. After law school, Ben worked as a litigator while overseeing the launch of The Spark Program in Los Angeles, which places at-risk middle school students in apprenticeships. From 2011-2014, Ben taught education law and policy at UCLA Law School.
Ben was first elected to the Santa Monica Malibu School Board (the same school district he attended) in 2008. After a successful first term, Ben was the top vote-getter in 2012 and was chosen by his colleagues to serve a two-year term as Board President, where he oversaw a $120 million budget for educating 12,000 students. Ben was the past Chair of the Los Angeles Committee on School Districts Organization, which sets school district boundaries and combines them when necessary.
Ben serves on the Elections and Constitutional Amendments, Natural Resources and Water, and Transportation and Housing Committees in the State Senate and is chair of the Education Committee and the Joint Committee on the Arts. Ben political style is less acrimonious and more focused on building consensus than many of his colleagues, making him a very effective legislator. An advocate of education reform as chair of the Education Committee, Ben works to block legislation that would harm kids and will go further when enough pro-reform colleagues have been added to the legislature.. Ben also co-authored a bill abolishing the personal belief exemption for vaccines, improving herd immunity and helping to prevent future outbreaks of preventable disease. Along with other GFC State Senators, Ben blocked passage of a ban on county contracting, a bill that would have cost billions and cut services to vulnerable populations.
Party registration in SD26 is 47.8% Democratic, 21.4% Republican and 26.0% No Party Preference/Decline To State, making it a good fit for a progressive Democrat who is fiscally sensible, like Ben. Ben doesn’t currently have any opponents, but it is possible he may face a challenge from the left or by a Republican. Regardless, Ben will win reelection.