Raphael Sonenshein

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Raphael J. Sonenshein (born November 10, 1949 in Nutley, New Jersey) was a political science professor at California State University, Fullerton. He is also served as chairman of the department. An instructor at the university from 1982 to 2012, Sonenshein holds a bachelor's degree in public policy from Princeton University and a doctorate in political science from Yale University. His books, Politics in Black and White: Race and Power in Los Angeles and The City at Stake: Secession, Reform, and the Battle for Los Angeles detail the political history of Los Angeles in the last fifty years. He is currently working on a third book. Sonenshein recently returned to the United States after completing a semester teaching in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship. Sonenshein recently transferred to California State University, Los Angeles, where he was appointed Executive Director of the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs.[1]

He was executive director of the Los Angeles Appointed Charter Reform Commission, which, along with the Los Angeles Elected Charter Reform Commission that operated simultaneously and with the same mandate, created a "unified charter" proposal for the ballot that provided the first successful and comprehensive update to the city's 1925 charter. The charter measure achieved a 60 percent approval at the polls in June 1999. It boosted's the mayor's power and led to the creation of neighborhood councils and area planning commissions.

He is a nephew of retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Nathan Sonenshein. He currently resides in Santa Monica. Sonenshein is also a frequent editor and writer for the Jewish Journal.[2]



  1. ^ "CORE STAFF". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "RAPHAEL SONENSHEIN". Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 

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