Facebook Twitter

Utah delegate comes home to Los Angeles

SHARE Utah delegate comes home to Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Utah delegate Dana Senit Henry isn't really a long way from home at the Democratic National Convention.

The former Los Angeles Superior Court judge, an outdoors person, fled Southern California for the ski town of Park City three years ago. Also a political junkie, she became active in Utah's Democratic Party. It didn't take long to work her way up to delegate status.

"It's a lot easier than it would have been in California," Henry said in an interview Wednesday.

Henry was drawn to politics as an elementary school student in 1960. Riding her bicycle, she helped with a get-out-the vote campaign.

She also was able to see John F. Kennedy get the Democrats' nomination at the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where he delivered his famous "New Frontier" speech.

Henry worked on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968, sitting on the dais with him at a big Los Angeles-area event. "A few weeks later, he was killed down here," she recalled.

Henry was a California judge for 13 years, starting in municipal court and getting a Superior Court appointment from former Gov. Jerry Brown.

High-profile cases in her courtroom included one in 1989 involving a lesbian who sought joint custody and visitation rights to a child born to a former lover through artificial insemination from the lesbian's brother. Henry ruled against her.

After leaving the bench, she started working as a mediator — a job that brings her back to California on a regular basis. She often handles sexual harassment and discrimination cases.

But she's always happy to get back to her new home in Utah. "When I come down here and see all the traffic, I really love Park City," she says.