Suzanne Hess

Notable Donations:

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $32,400
Working Families Party: $10,000
California Democratic Party: $10,000
Vote Tripling PAC: $10,000
Progressive Change Campaign Committee: $ 5,000
San Diego County Democratic Party (Fed. Acct.): $ 5,000

Suzanne Hess is a board member of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group that most notably favors stricter regulations on foods and beverages. 1 She donates to left-of-center political candidates and committees such as the California Democratic Party, Working Families Party, 2 and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. News outlet Politico reported in 2010 that Suzanne and her husband attended a donor conference hosted by the Democracy Alliance (DA), a left-leaning donor collaborative organization. 3


Suzanne Hess is a former librarian and nutritionist who is married to Lawrence Hess, a real estate businessman and philanthropist with left-of-center leanings. She and her husband moved to San Diego in 1975. Suzanne earned her master’s degree in library science from UCLA and dedicated two decades of her career to working for San Diego County as a supervising librarian. 4

Suzanne was a trustee for the San Diego Repertory Theatre, a performing arts company that produces and hosts contemporary plays. 5 The theatre closed in June 2022 due to financial challenges and filed for bankruptcy, citing a $2 million debt. 6

Suzanne sits on the board of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a left-leaning advocacy nonprofit that has boasted of being the American “food police” and the “food and health watchdog.” Suzanne is also an active member at the Unitarian Universalist Church in San Diego. 7

Political Activity

From 2019 to 2020, Suzanne contributed at least $19,000 to Republicans and Republican affiliated committees, and at least $380,000 to Democrats and their committees. Examples include a $10,000 contribution to the Working Families Party (WFP) in New York, $10,000 to the California Democratic Party, another $10,000 to Mike Siegel for Congress campaign, alongside multiple $2,800 donations to various Democratic Congressional campaigns. 8

In 2010, according to Politico, Suzanne and her husband attended a donor conference organized by Democracy Alliance (DA), a collective of left-of-center donors that has been active in orchestrating “the activities of a permanent ‘left infrastructure’ since 2004. 9 Notable left-leaning figures from the political sphere, including then-AFL-CIO 10 president Richard Trumka, 11 organizer Joan Fitz-Gerald, and former White House aide Van Jones 12 reportedly attended the meeting which aimed to examine the implications of the Republican Party’s substantial gains in the 2010 midterm elections. 13

Together, Suzanne and her spouse have collectively contributed $130,000 to liberal super PACs. This includes a donation of $100,000 to Progressive Kick, a political action committee (PAC) focused on supporting left-wing candidates and advocating for left-wing policies, and an additional $30,000 to America’s Families First Action Fund.  14


  1. “Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).” InfluenceWatch, June 20, 2023. science-in-the-public-interest/
  2. [1] “Working Families Party (WFP).” InfluenceWatch, May 3, 2023.
  3. “Democracy Alliance (DA).” InfluenceWatch, October 18, 2022.
  4. “Suzanne Hess.” Center for Science in the Public Interest, February 23, 2022.
  5. “Mission & History.” San Diego Repertory Theatre. Accessed June 14, 2023.
  6.  Kragen San , Pam. “San Diego Repertory Theatre to Suspend Operations after 46 Years.” Del Mar Times, June 9, 2022.
  7. “People.” Center for Science in the Public Interest, March 17, 2023.
  8. “Browse Individual Contributions.” Accessed June 22, 2023.
  9. “Crashing Big Dem Donors’ Meeting.” POLITICO. Accessed June 22, 2023.
  10. “American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).” InfluenceWatch, October 27, 2021.
  11. “Richard Trumka.” InfluenceWatch, August 5, 2021.
  12. “Van Jones.” InfluenceWatch, May 29, 2019.
  13. Taylor , Jessica, and Kenneth vogel. “Crashing Big Dem Donors’ Meeting.” POLITICO, November 17, 2010.
  14. “Lawrence and Suzanne Hess Gave $294,000 in Political Donations.” San Diego Reader, May 13, 2012.

Connected Organizations

  1. Democracy Alliance Conferences (Other Group)
    Participant, Spring 2015; Spring 2016; Fall 2016
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