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Santa Monica State Senator and Labor Lawyer with ties to Locally Active Union Marry


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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

November 7, 2017 -- State Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and a labor lawyer with ties to the city’s most politically active union quietly tied the knot last month in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, her home state.

Melanie Luthern –- now Melanie Luthern Allen -- practices labor law at Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers, following years as a researcher/organizer for Unite Here, Local 11, a union for hospitality workers which has been a big player in City politics as it tries to organize more of Santa Monica’s many hotels and restaurants.

The two wed on October 7 at Camp Wyandot, Rockbridge, Ohio (Luthern is from Youngstown, Ohio).

“We are so thankful for the support and well wishes of our family, friends and community, and look forward to embarking on this new chapter of our partnership,” said Allen, who has represented the liberal 26th District since 2015.

“I’m grateful to my beautiful wife for planning such a meaningful and special celebration. I’m a lucky guy in so many ways!"

Lila Kalaf Reiner, Allen’s district director, said the event was an “intimate Jewish wedding with close family and friends at a nonprofit summer camp in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio.”

“They selected the venue because it allowed them to celebrate their love of the outdoors and to support an organization that fosters that same passion in youth,” she said.

“The couple chose to get married in Melanie’s home state of Ohio to be more proximate to her family and because they believe strongly in the importance of bringing together people from different political, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.”

Allen proposed on December 26 in Douglas Park in Santa Monica.

Their first dance at the wedding reception was to “America,” by Simon and Garfunkel.


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