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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of Santa MonicaCandidate for Rent Control Board

Photo of Nicole Phillis

Nicole Phillis

Boardmember/Civil Attorney
21,288 votes (26.2%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Repeal Costa-Hawkins through YES on Proposition 10 and protect, strengthen and expand rent control
  • Improve Ellis Act relocation and compensation benefits to help displaced tenants
  • Pass commonsense regulations to incentivize preservation and improvement of rent controlled housing stock, including assistance with seismic retrofitting financing and expedited permitting

Experience

Experience

Profession:Rent Control Board Commissioner and Civil Attorney
Associate Attorney, Davis Wright Tremaine (2017–current)
Delegate, California Democratic Party — Appointed position (2017–current)
Commissioner, Santa Monica Rent Control Board — Elected position (2014–current)
Convener, Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEM) for AD50, California Democratic Party — Appointed position (2017–current)
Commissioner, Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women — Appointed position (2013–current)
Associate, TroyGould (2016–2017)
Associate, Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP (2014–2016)
Associate, Munger Tolles & Olson (2012–2014)
Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Hon. Milan D. Smith, Jr. (2011–2012)

Education

Emory University School of Law J.D., Law (2010)
Providence College B.A., Valedictorian, Political Science; Women's Studies (2007)

Biography

Nicole Susan Phillis is a first-term Commissioner on the Santa Monica Rent Control Board, on which she served as Chair from 2016-2017. As a Rent Control Board Commissioner, Nicole serves on both the legislative and technology committees.  Nicole is also an active member in the Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, and California Democrat Parties. Nicole served as the convener for the 2017 Assembly District Election Meeting, hosting a record-breaking 1200+ registered Democrats from Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Agoura Hills, Topanga, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood in their biannual meeting to elect representatives to the California Democratic Party. Nicole also serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party (2017-2018) and an alternate member of the alps Angeles County Democratic Party.  Prior to being elected to the Rent Control Board in 2014, Nicole also served as a Commissioner on the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women, which she chaired from 2014-2016.

Nicole has spent her career fighting injustice and standing up for the rights of women and families. It’s a passion she learned from her mother, Mary, an adult education administrator, her father, Hugh, an orthodontist, and her five siblings, Daniella, Andrea, Stephanie, Kendra, and Hugh William. 

Growing up in Nashua, New Hampshire, Nicole was raised on the values of hard work, unapologetic honesty, and community education. 

Nicole graduated valedictorian from Providence College, with a dual degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies, and a thesis in comparative state stability in Latin America. Initially torn between graduate school and law school, Nicole enrolled at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia because she believed a law degree was the best way she could help shape and create a more just society.  Nicole graduated from Emory Law with high honors and Order of the Coif, spending her final year as the Executive Articles Editor on the Emory Law Journal and writing extensively on the regulation of adolescent sexuality, abortion and teen pregnancy.

In 2011, after working for one year at a large law firm in Atlanta, Nicole moved across the country, to Santa Monica, to clerk for the Honorable Milan D. Smith, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As a law clerk, Nicole learned first hand the sacredness of fidelity to the law, of upholding precedent, and in applying the law fairly and without ideological bias.

After clerking, Nicole moved into private practice, first working as an associate at Munger Tolles & Olson, and eventually moving to Davis Wright Tremaine, where she currently practices.

As a litigator at Davis Wright Tremaine, Nicole works on bet-the-company, high stakes disputes in the media, entertainment, arts, business and health industries. She also maintains an active pro bono practice, which she currently focuses almost exclusively on representing asylum seekers and refugees. Prior to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, Nicole co-authored briefs in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits in support of marriage equality.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Santa Monica Democratic Club
  • Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights
  • Los Angeles County Democratic Party

Organizations (1)

  • Unite Here Local 11

Individuals (2)

  • Eric Bauman, California Democratic Party, Chair
  • Ben Allen, State Senator

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Nicole is a lifelong progressive Democrat and intersectional feminist. Nicole finds ways to live her progressive values in recognition of the way that race, class, age, ability, and gender intersect create systems of both privilege and oppression.  Nicole views the role of the government to create a more just and responsive state and to respond to the particular vulnerabilities of its citizens.  Nicole supports rent control because she views it as a social and political commitment to the concept that housing is a human right, and the ability to age in place and with dignity should not be contingent upon whether one can afford to own property.

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