Rice producer named to California Water Commission

kim gallagher

California rice producer Kim Gallagher — photo courtesy USA Rice

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed three, including rice producer Kim Gallagher, to the California Water Commission. Joining her are Amy Cardalis, a member of the Yurok Tribe and its general counsel, and Fern Steiner, an attorney and member of the San Diego County Water Authority Board. They still have to be confirmed by the state Senate.

The California Water Commission consists of nine members appointed by the governor. Seven members are chosen for their expertise related to the control, storage and beneficial use of water, and two are chosen for their knowledge of the environment.

The commission provides a public forum for discussing water issues, advises the director of the Department of Water Resources on matters within its jurisdiction, approves rules and regulations, and monitors and reports on the construction and operation of the State Water Project. All three positions receive $100 per diem compensation.

• Gallagher, 45, of Davis, has been farm operations manager at Erdman Farms since 2014 and owner and operator of Gallagher Farming Co. since 2009. She was a science teacher for the Davis Unified School District from 2012 to 2014 and an independent study teacher for the Elk Grove Unified School District from 2004 to 2011.

Gallagher is a member of the Colusa County Resources Conservation District, Colusa Glenn Subwatershed Program and the California Rice Commission. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Christian leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. Gallagher also is a graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program. She is a Democrat.

• Cordalis, 40, of McKinleyville, has been general counsel for the Yurok Tribe since 2016 and served as a tribe staff attorney from 2014 to 2016. She was staff attorney at Berkey Williams LLP from 2012 to 2014 and at the Native American Rights Fund from 2007 to 2012.

Cordalis is a member of the Klamath River Renewal Corp. Board of Directors. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law. Cordalis is a Democrat.

• Steiner, 71, of San Diego, has been an attorney at Smith, Steiner, Vanderpool APC since 1987 and a shareholder there since 1993. She was an attorney at Richard D. Prochazka APC from 1984 to 1987 and an attorney at Karmel and Rosenfeld from 1977 to 1984.

Steiner is a member of the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors and a trustee for San Diego Youth Services. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from John Marshall Law School. Steiner is a Democrat.

The Office of the Governor contributed information for this article.