Early Years

When he was a young boy, Mel moved with his mother, grandmother, and siblings from Alabama to Los Angeles. It took his grandmother six days to complete the journey. Mel learned an early lesson in Alabama about hard work, justice, and fairness. After toiling in the fields and hot sun picking cotton for a week, he was only paid $2 dollars and a few coins. He was told they pay by the pound and to work harder next time.

In Los Angeles, his (single) mother cleaned houses for $12/day but still made sure she provided her children with the educational opportunities to excel and succeed.

Mel quickly understood the value of hard work and the need of a good paying job and benefits.

Bringing Transit Lines and Affordable Housing to Los Angeles Neighborhoods

When twice asked to serve on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board (Metro) by Los Angeles Mayors Riordan and Villaraigosa, Mel negotiated to make sure he would play a critical role in improving the lives of all Los Angelenos, especially those living on or near proposed transit corridors including the Green Line, LAX/Crenshaw Line and the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project.

Mel insisted that Mayor Villaraigosa make the LAX/Crenshaw Line and transit-oriented communities a high priority. Metro planners and the L.A. County Supervisors said there was no money in the budget for a Leimert Park Station. Mel pushed back and worked with the Mayor to secure $120 million to build a station in Leimert Park.

When Metro planners recommended an expansion of the bus system in the San Fernando Valley, Mel led the charge to secure $1.2 billion to build the Valley’s first rail transit system. The East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project will serve 1.5 million people living and working in the San Fernando Valley.

Helping People Realize Their Home Ownership Dreams

Mel has helped people realize their dream of homeownership for over 40 years. As a legislative housing and small business advocate for nearly three decades, he supported policies designed to expand opportunities for working families to own their own homes. Mel has also served on the boards of the National, California, and regional REALTORS® association.

When business owners asked Mel to serve on the United Chamber of Commerce of San Fernando Valley, they respected his commitment and experience so much that he was eventually elected the Chamber’s President.

Mel provides his staff the wages, health care, and benefits they need to support their families.

Who Is Mel Wilson?