J.J. Abrams Fundraises for L.A. City Council Candidate

J.J. Abrams - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

J.J. Abrams - H 2015

The director and his wife, Katie McGrath, are making a rare Hollywood foray into city politics to support Marqueece Harris-Dawson in the 8th Council District.

Fresh from their London stay working on the new Star Wars installment, J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, will make a rare Hollywood foray into Los Angeles city politics when they host a “cocktails and conversation” fundraiser for Community Coalition CEO Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who is seeking L.A.’s open 8th District seat in the March 3 primary.

Though Hollywood recently has taken a stronger interest in Los Angeles’ mayoral races, it’s extremely rare for its politically active figures to take a hand in a city council election. Abrams and McGrath, however, are two of the most active among the entertainment industry’s younger coterie of Democratic activists and have acquired a reputation for being shrewd spotters of political talent.

They were, for example, early supporters of state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who now is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Barbara Boxer. The 8th District, where incumbent Bernard Parks — the former police chief — is termed out, is one of Los Angeles’ most interesting, as it encompasses the two most affluent majority black census tracts in America.

The Harris-Dawson fundraiser is set for the evening of Feb. 27 at Abrams’ Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica. Ticket prices range from $250 to $700. Rep. Karen Bass, the former California Assembly speaker and Harris-Dawson mentor as founder and ex-head of the Community Coalition, also will be on hand.

Abrams and McGrath also have been strong philanthropic supporters of the Community Coalition, particularly its educational reform efforts. In a letter accompanying invitations to the Feb. 27 event, they wrote, “Having known Marqueece for many years through his work as president and CEO of Community Coalition, we've seen his dedication to this city first hand and know he will be an asset to our city's leadership."