Chairman of Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission Declares Candidacy.
Laurie Ender, Chairman of the Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission – announced today that she will run for a seat on the Santa Clarita City Council in April 2008. Ender declared her candidacy to a large group of supporters during a press conference this afternoon at Valencia Heritage Park.
Ender has been on the Parks Commission since 2003, playing a role in the expansion of the Santa Clarita Athletic Complex and the design and construction of Todd Longshore Park in Canyon Country, among other Commission projects. She also recently served as President of the Santa Clarita Valley Council PTA, providing leadership for its 30,000 members and its individual school chapters, which span from Castaic to Canyon Country. Under her guidance the SCV Council PTA was awarded the top honor in the state from the California State PTA in 2005.
Ender has served as a community advocate on several key educational issues that have helped shape the current Santa Clarita Valley school landscape. She co-chaired, along with former mayor Clyde Smyth, the Measure V Bond effort that earmarked $152 million for the Hart District, helping to pay for construction of Golden Valley and West Ranch High Schools and other extensive modernization projects. She also chaired the Measure E Bond campaign for the Saugus Union School District, which raised $48 million toward construction of new schools and the upgrade of existing facilities.
“It has been a passion, a privilege and a pleasure to become involved in the many unique issues that impact Santa Clarita, a city that prides itself on a small-town atmosphere but recognizes the needs for added services to support a growing population,” said Ender. “Like many, I came to Santa Clarita drawn by the vision of a safe community, excellent local parks and services, and good schools. During the last 15 years as a resident here I’ve been a working mom, a stay-at-home mom and a ‘team mom’ as well as a home owner, a volunteer and a consumer of Santa Clarita’s rapidly growing businesses. In addition to having first-hand experience on a variety of city issues, I believe I can offer the community and the City Council a unique perspective. I will provide a strong voice for both the long time residents and businesses who call Santa Clarita home as well as for young families, a demographic in our city that is growing and whose sheer numbers and influence will define its future.”
Throughout her years as an advocate and volunteer in the community Ender has received many awards and accolades. She received Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon for outstanding and valuable service to the community in 2006. Additionally, Ender was named Outstanding Parent Volunteer by the William S. Hart Union High School District, received the Golden Apple Award from the Santa Clarita Valley School Administrators Association, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from National PTA and was named Newsmaker of the Year for Community Service by the SCV Press Club and The Signal.
Currently Ender serves as chairperson of the City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission as well as on the Board of Managers of the YMCA. She maintains her school involvement as a member of the Rio Norte Junior High School Site Council and as part of Valencia High School’s Action Team for Partnership. Ender volunteers with the local autism support group (SCAAN), the Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Valencia Vikings booster club, Wm. S. Hart PONY Baseball and the Santa Clarita Valley Athletic Association Warrior Football program.
Ender lives in Santa Clarita with her husband Chris and 3 children – Jason, Griffin and Davis – one each high school, junior high and elementary school.
Before leaving the workplace to raise her children and become a community advocate, Ender was one of the original producers for the NBC’s nationally syndicated television series “Access Hollywood,” which she also helped develop. Before that she was supervising producer for “Entertainment Tonight.” She is a graduate of Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting.