Jewish Journal


July 8, 2009



We are pleased to begin blogging via the website of the Jewish Journal. We hope to illuminate, explore and discuss issues that we at Community Advocates, Inc.find interesting, contentious and, occasionally, fun. We hope you share our interests and, whether you agree or not with our positions, will find them, at a minimum, reasoned and civil.

We look forward to reading your thoughts about our musings on the Jewish Journal’s blog.

David A. Lehrer is the president of Community Advocates, Inc., a Los Angeles based human relations organization chaired by former mayor Richard J. Riordan. For twenty seven years he served locally with the Anti-Defamation League, as both its counsel and its regional director.

Mr. Lehrer is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA where he received a B.A. in Political Science.  He attended UCLA Law School and earned a Juris Doctor degree and admission to the bar in 1973. 

He has been interviewed on his activities by publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the London Times, to the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Newsweek.  He has appeared on numerous national news broadcasts including the ABC Network programs Nightline and Good Morning America, and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition. His essays have appeared in various publications including the Los Angles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, and other newspapers across the country. 

In 1997, he was appointed by then Mayor Riordan to the Board of Library Commissioners of Los Angeles and served for two years as its president, overseeing the 67-branch Los Angeles Public Library system with an annual budget approaching $90 million.

Community Advocates has partnered with two major Los Angeles media outlets to amplify its message on civil rights issues—-with KCET’s public affairs broadcast Life & Times it broadcast weekly segments of The Kitchen Table; it teams with Airtalk, on NPR’s KPCC,  to produce quarterly Critical Issues Seminars that are broadcast both locally and nationally.

He is married to Dr. Ariella Lehrer and is the father of four children—-Eli, Jonah, Rachel and Leah.

Joe R. Hicks is the Vice President of Community Advocates, Inc. a Los Angeles based privately-funded political think-tank that was created to counter the prevailing views that retard progress in the arena of race and human relations.  He is also a host and commentator for Pajamas Television Daily, a right of center online political network.  Hicks also hosted a weekly KFI AM 640 Talk Radio program - The Joe Hicks Show.

Prior to co-founding Community Advocates, Hicks was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission, where he served from 1997 to 2001 under Mayor Richard J. Riordan.  In the early 1990s, Hicks was Executive Director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the civil rights group formed by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Hicks served for three years as a member of the Board of Governors for the California State Bar, stepping down in 2002

For more than 30 years, Hicks has been an active, high-profile figure on countless local, national, and international issues.  He has acquired a reputation as an articulate, forceful public speaker.  He has been a frequent guest on the Fox Network, CNN and other national networks. His opinion articles and interviews have appeared often in numerous national and international print media. 

Throughout the turbulent Sixties, as well as the 1970s, ‘80s and much of the 90s, Hicks views were aligned with what he describes as the “prevailing left–liberal political orthodoxy.”  He was well-known as a forceful voice for so-called “progressive social change.”  However, by the mid-1990s Hicks began a lengthy re-examination process that has resulted in views that he describes as “proudly contrarian.”  Today, he holds provocative positions and views that are most often at odds with the beliefs he had long been associated with.  He now self-identifies as an independent political conservative with strong libertarian leanings.

Active on the national lecture circuit, Hicks lives in Los Angeles and is currently writing a book that is an intimate examination of his 30-year journey, from left to right, across the nation’s racial and political landscape.

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