Assemblymember Chris Holden (left) announces that Mayor Pro Tem Marina Khubesrian, M.D., is his South Pasadena honoree and 2018 Woman of the Year. Courtesy photo

Assemblymember Chris Holden named South Pasadena Mayor Pro Tem Marina Khubesrian the 2018 Woman of the Year for the 41st Assembly District. Holden made the announcement in an email from his office and by recognizing her from the state capitol in Sacramento on March 12.

“It was an honor to recognize Dr. Khubesrian on the Assembly Floor today as the 41st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year!” he posted on Facebook. She was present to receive the honor and to tour the capitol.

Khubesrian was chosen for this special designation out of 70 nominations received by Holden’s office. These were submitted for outstanding women residing throughout the 41st District, which spans 10 cities from the western edge of Pasadena to Rancho Cucamonga. 

Holden also named nine nominees as Women of Distinction. They represent Altadena, Claremont, La Verne, Monrovia, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, Sierra Madre and Upland.

All are being recognized for their service that has had a positive impact on their communities.

Khubesrian was chosen as the South Pasadena awardee and for the district’s high honor for her significant accomplishments. First elected to the City Council in 2011, she launched Beyond the 710, an organization opposed to the 710 tunnel. Its members proposed a new plan.

According to Holden’s announcement, “She emerged as a leading voice in alternative solutions that relieve traffic congestion, connect communities, promote smart growth and protect the environment.”

In addition, she led the efforts with Holden to “enact commonsense regulation and local control of massage parlors,” according to the notice. Her leadership also resulted in South Pasadena’s adoption of ordinances to ban plastic bags and e-cigarettes. She promoted the city’s participation as a Host Town for the Special Olympics World Games, as well.

He also noted she was key in securing more open space and parks and sponsoring new public art projects.

“Dr. Khubesrian continues to make a positive impact in her community both as a public servant and physician,” Holden said in the announcement. “She is a tireless advocate for the environment and public health and is an inspiration to all.”

Khubesrian and the other awardees were scheduled to be recognized March 15 at Holden’s annual district office spring open house in East Pasadena. The ceremony was to take place in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Khubesrian was one of six nominees from the city. Others nominated were Ellen Daigle, Ellen’s Silkscreening; Mavis Hansen, The Woman’s Club of South Pasadena; Imelda Nava, Ph.D., Science Faculty Advisor, UCLA; Joan Shaw, South Pasadena Tournament of Roses and 4th of July Committees; and Carolyn Watson, Watson Design Group.

Khubesrian is the first woman to serve on the city council since 2003. She is in her second term. She was mayor 2013-14 and is scheduled to assume the one-year mayorship again in 2019.

She was a recipient of one of U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Women of Distinction Awards for the 27th Congressional District in 2014, according to the city website.

According to the biography included with the announcement, Khubesrian emigrated as a child with her family from Armenia to the U.S. She earned a B.S. in biology and an M.D. degree from UCLA. She practices family medicine part time in an integrative health practice in Montrose. She and her husband, Dr. Mark Dreskin, reside in South Pasadena and have two children.

Author

Sally Kilby, a South Pasadena resident, was City Clerk 2000-2013. Prior to that, she worked in health care as a nurse, medical librarian, advertising copywriter, writer and journal editor. She is involved in various community organizations. Her two grown children attended South Pasadena schools and work at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

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