Sonenshein Receives Inaugural Haynes Award for Research Impact
Raphael J. Sonenshein, professor of political science, is being honored as one of two inaugural recipients of the Haynes Award for Research Impact

October 3, 2006

By Mimi Ko Cruz

For his work as a political researcher, raising awareness of issues that affect policies in Los Angeles, Raphael J. Sonenshein, professor of political science, is being honored as one of two inaugural recipients of the Haynes Award for Research Impact.
Sonenshein will be honored along with Dowell Myers, a professor of politics, planning and development at USC. The honor, bestowed by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, was presented Oct. 4 at a special reception held at the Huntington Library in San Marino.
Since its founding in 1926, the Los Angeles-based private foundation has provided funds to examine the underlying causes of social, economic and political problems of the city and to recommend ways of improving them. To that end, the foundation’s board of trustees recently established the Haynes Award for Research Impact as a means of recognizing individuals whose research has been especially important in raising the public’s awareness of significant issues and in affecting policy outcomes, said Diane Cornwell, executive director of the foundation.
This new award, which comes is a $25,000 cash prize, is being initiated in conjunction with the foundation’s 80th anniversary.
“I am very grateful to the Haynes Foundation for all they have done to support my research throughout my career,” Sonenshein said, who was a 2001-02 Haynes Fellow spearheading a major conference on Los Angeles governance. He has recently undertaken the complete revision of “Structure of a City,” a book published by the League of Women Voters with a grant from the Haynes Foundation. 
“When I started to study Los Angeles more than 20 years, almost nobody took the city's politics seriously. The foundation, though, invested in my work from the start, and has stayed with me as my work has evolved,” Sonenshein added. “It’s a great honor to receive this award from a foundation that has meant so much to so many scholars in the greater Los Angels area.”
The veteran researcher has written extensively on the relationships among racial and ethic groups, and on the governance of American cities, particularly Los Angeles. His earliest Haynes grant was for a study of the biracial coalition that elected Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, and resulted in an award-winning 1993 book, “Politics in Black and White:  Race and Power in Los Angeles.”
His current research explores urban coalitions in an age of immigration.  Frequently sought-after for his knowledge of Los Angeles politics and governance, Sonenshein has acted as a consultant to citizen commissions in several municipalities in the region, as well as a commentator and writer for local and national media.
Between 1997 and 1999, he served as executive director of Los Angeles’ Charter Reform Commission, and his related book, “The City at Stake:  Secession, Reform and the Battle for Los Angeles,” was published in 2004 by Princeton University Press.          

Raphael J. Sonenshein
Raphael J. Sonenshein