Donna Schwartz Mills, a Los Angeles native, has been writing the blog SoCalMom.net since 2003 and has been online in some capacity for 30 years, having gotten into her first chat room trouble in 1981. She has worked in radio (as writer of the nationally syndicated program, The Weekly Top 30 and producer of The Weekly Music Magazine) and television (notably as a production assistant at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson).
Both jobs allowed Donna to interact with some of the biggest names in show business. She has interviewed more than 100 pop music artists from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, including Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, the late John Entwistle of The Who, Belinda Carlisle and Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s, Vince Gill, Phil Collins, members of Santana, The Allman Brothers Band, Kool and the Gang, the Four Tops, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, and Jermaine Jackson.
At the Tonight Show, Donna was present for the first appearance of Ellen DeGeneres and the last appearance by Bette Davis. She was also on hand when the talent coordinator who booked “civilians” (i.e., non-celebrities) brought in an obscure Arkansas Governor who had made a name for himself at the 1988 Democratic National Convention with a nominating speech that went on too long: Bill Clinton.
The entertainment industry is not particularly family friendly, and neither is corporate America, as she discovered after giving birth to a daughter 15 years ago. By that time, she worked in downtown Los Angeles, at first assisting the economists and Washington lobbyists at the California Association of REALTORS (R), and then as the Meeting Planner for the trade association. After two years of struggling to balance work and motherhood, she quit that job to become a stay-at-home mom and became an online entrepreneur.
During these years, Donna was active in PTA and worked part time at her daughter’s elementary school, first as a Parent Center coordinator and then assisting the school’s efforts to administer mandated bilingual education programs for English learners.
In 2008, Donna became a member of the online political blogging group, the MOMocrats, whose mission was to help elect Democrats to office. The MOMocrats’ advocacy and reporting earned them a press credential at the Democratic National Convention, and Donna was part of the group that met in Denver to report from the floor.
With the MOMocrats, Donna has come full circle as producer and host of a weekly political podcast, MOMocrats MOMochat.
Donna has been a paid consultant to Disney’s Family.com and is a former paid contributor to a blog at WebMD. She currently contributes material to the automotive site, AskPatty.com and to CBS Los Angeles.
She has sold two sitcom scripts and is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.
In 2014, Donna’s daughter is graduating high school and will go away to college, which means SoCal Mom is now morphing into something akin to SoCal Empty Nester.
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