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March 7, 2017 — Local Elections
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City of Palos Verdes EstatesCandidate for City Council

Photo of Kenneth J. Kao

Kenneth J. Kao

Attorney/Planning Commissioner
2,242 votes (39.52%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protect and restore our City Parklands, including removal of encroachments.
  • Ensure measured residential development that respects Neighborhood Compatability, including view preservation and neighborhood consistency.
  • Equip our Fire and Police Departments so they can continue to do their job well.



UC Berkeley Juris Doctorate, Law (1997)
UCLA Bachelor of Arts, English Literature (1994)


Kenny was born in Los Angeles (then Cedars of Lebanon, now Cedars-Sinai) to Daniel and Lily Kao who immigrated from Taiwan in the late 60’s to pursue Kenny’s father’s PhD in internal medicine from the UCSF Medical School.  Along with Kenny’s older brother James, the family moved to Palos Verdes Estates in the early 70’s so that Kenny’s father could continue his post-doc training in pulmonary medicine at UCLA Harbor General.  The house in which Kenny grew up, two doors up from Margate Intermediate School (now PVIS), would be where Kenny formed his childhood memories until graduating from PV High School in 1989.


Kenny attended pre-K at what was then The Learning Tree (adjacent to the PV Art Center) and el-hi at Lunada Bay Elementary, Margate Intermediate, and PV High.  From a young age, Kenny was inspired by his father’s having gone to public schools (National Taiwan University Medical School (Tai-Da); UCSF Medical School) and strong commitment to public service – founding the Asian American Physician’s Association (AAPA) and leading the Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL).  Kenny would follow suit in his decisions to attend public universities (UCLA, B.A., English Literature; UC Berkeley, J.D.) and to enter a career in public service – choosing the US Attorney General’s Honors Program, federal clerkships, and other government positions over offers from “Big Law.” 


In February 1998, Kenny would lose his father and mentor to cancer.  Dr. Daniel K. Kao was only 57 at his passing but, in the short time he was given, succeeded in establishing and leading the Critical Care and Pulmonary/Respiratory Units at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, and serving the South Bay community with great skill, compassion, and integrity.


It was his father’s illness that would prompt Kenny’s relocating from the East Coast back to Southern California where he would eventually find and marry his soulmate Alicia, have kids, and return “home to PV” in 2010.  Almost immediately upon moving back to Palos Verdes Estates, Kenny began serving the City as a member of the Traffic Safety Committee (2011-2015, Vice Chair 2013-2015) and his local neighborhood as a Board member of the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association (Summer Concerts Chair 2015-2016).  In 2015, Kenny was appointed to the City’s Planning Commission.


When he is not working as an attorney or serving his community, Kenny is a big sports fan and enjoys tennis, golf, fishing, camping, and an occasional game of low-stakes poker.  He has run four marathons to date (with another scheduled for November 2017) and, despite never training quite enough, still aspires to break the 4:00 finishing time.


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