Assisting others comes naturally to Katrina Manning and that having trait will help her excel as a member of the Hawthorne City Council.
Elected in November 2022, Manning aims to serve the city’s 90,000 residents by emphasizing public safety, economic development, helping the homeless and investing in young people and senior citizens. She believes concentrating on those areas will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Hawthorne.
Her list of priorities could overwhelm a lesser person, but Manning is equipped to succeed. Not only does she possess the managerial expertise, strategic relationships, and a passion for uplifting others, but she also brings a long history of community service to the position.
“I’m excited to be the Councilwoman. I’ve been volunteering and working in the community for more than 30 years and it makes me feel good to be able to bless other people,” said Manning, who organized many fundraisers to aid the underserved during her long tenure as president of the Holly Park Homeowners Association (HPHA).
“There’s a great opportunity to do some things in Hawthorne and bring economic projects to benefit our residents. I want families and people to come to our city and really enjoy themselves,” she said.
As Manning explained, Hawthorne is poised to fulfill those aspirations, especially considering its close proximity to Inglewood, which boasts SoFi Stadium, the Olympics in 2028, and a range of new construction developments.
“Inglewood has all of these events coming up and we are in a unique position to take advantage. We do have an airport and more people with private jets are flying into Hawthorne now, getting their car and driving five minutes away to SoFi Stadium,” Manning noted.
“People are already coming through our city, so we just need to create things that they can enjoy. It’s a unique opportunity for us for attract new restaurants, hotels and even small mom-and-pop businesses, which I really love,” she added.
Manning’s optimism about Hawthorne’s potential reflects her positive approach to life, despite setbacks and disappointments. In fact, her decade-long journey to becoming an elected official ingrained perseverance, mingled with confidence, into her character.
In 2017, she first ran for Councilmember and lost by 34 votes. Although “really, really disappointed” about the outcome, Manning didn’t give up on her dream. Instead, she continued donating her talents to the community and towards neighborhood improvement initiatives.
“When I look back now, I realize that God had a purpose for me and He revealed I wasn’t ready. There were things that I didn’t understand in terms of being in that space. I think there were lessons for me to learn during that time,” said Manning.
“So, I continued to volunteer and work for on other campaigns and just learning what it is that I really want to do. And once you go through some things, then you build up stamina to be able withstand anything,” she realized.
During the period between the two campaigns, Manning devoted her energies to making a difference as HPHA president. She launched the city’s first “Movies in the Park” project, produced National Night Out with Hawthorne Police Department, and developed the HPHA scholarship program to aid college-bound students.
Her fortitude increased even more while serving in her profession as a community engagement manager for Blue Shield Promise Health Plan. In this capacity, she develops and executes strategic plans to involve individuals and families in realizing sustainable outcomes, goals and relationships.
In addition to her impressive executive experience, Manning’s educational qualifications include earning both a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and Master’s degree in public administration at CSU-Dominguez Hills. She also received a certificate in public policy from the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute.
While preparing to mount another campaign for Councilmember, Manning relied on strong relationship with God to help her “keep the faith and not lose hope.”
“I believe in a philosophy of ‘no’ means ‘not right now,’ and so, I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I consider myself an achiever and a doer. I listened to God who revealed to me [that the election would happen] in His time, not my time,” recalled Manning, who is married and the mother of a college student.
“Also, I have to set the example for my daughter, that when something gets hard or doesn’t go your way, you just don’t give up. You keep trying, and you pivot, you pivot in other ways. That is what keeps me going – my faith and God,” she said.
Maintaining her faith resulted in her successful campaign and election to the Hawthorne City Council, a position where she has attained the experience and prepared to do her best for her constituents.
“Honestly, I’ve been involved in the community all of my life,” said Manning. “I’ve always done the work, but now, I have an opportunity to do it in a bigger platform and to impact more people.”