Los Angeles' own executive mansion, Getty House, was the backdrop last week as friends and colleagues bid a fond -- and hopefully temporary -- farewell to activist-counselor Kristina Schake, who is off to the White House to serve as First Lady Michelle Obama's new communications director.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa not only opened his official Windsor Square residence to the festivities, but offered congratulatory remarks noting Schake's place in a long line of politically talented LA women -- including Dee Dee Myers and Noelia Rodriquez -- who have been summoned to service in Washington. (The city's First Girlfriend, journalist Lu Parker, also was on hand and, when Villaraigosa had to leave, he quipped she would stay on as hostess. That prompted her lighthearted offer to fetch everyone another drink.)
These days, Schake is best known for her work in support of marriage equality and as an advisor to California First Lady Maria Shriver, whose annual conference on women's issues the activist helped put together. The affectionately celebratory crowd was a reflection of Schake's interests, mostly gay rights activists and people active on behalf of women's issues. Dr. Robert K. Ross of the California Endowment was on hand to represent the world of philanthropy in the politically savvy crowd.