Jobs are vital to our communities. They build purpose, stabilize families, and offer dignity.
As a member and President of the LACCD Board of Trustees, I focused on expanding vocational, career and technical education programs. White collar jobs are not the only pathway to the middle class. I believe that the real fuel for any community is to have people working for fair wages.
I have learned that education is just a small part of a community college. Our work extends to economic development, procurement, training, and career pathways. These are not the first things we think about when we discuss education and jobs. But as your Assembly member, I will bring a unique understanding that will help our communities thrive.
Dreamers come to California. Let’s share in their dreams and help make them realities in ways that stimulate the economy, support innovation and diversify revenue streams. We need to find new ways to create incentives for good and sustainable jobs that can flourish in the 54th Assembly District. We must encourage competition, while ensuring a safe working environment for everyone.
Education is the great equalizer. My mission as your Assemblymember will be to support our public education system. We must demand excellence from our schools, bring the focus back to the student, and reconnect quality schools to the communities they serve.
I support a strong, healthy public education system where teachers are supported, systems are transparent, and children and families can thrive. We have an obligation to ensure that every child has access to a quality educational experience: one that supports creativity, imagination and growth.
Education is about so much more than just learning. It is about action, accountability and partnerships. LACCD is the largest community college district in the nation. Since being elected to its Board of Trustees, I have:
- Established a Title IX task force on sexual harassment and misconduct;
- Established the Small Business Advisory Council;
- Passed resolution to establish an Equity Data Metrics Initiative, a dashboard to help the district monitor its procurement practices and evaluate opportunities to improve;
- Supported the expansion of Project Match, a program that invites educators to intern with tenured faculty and encourage them to apply as faculty members;
- Supported a rule to ensure that 30 percent of all companies with which the district does business are small, minority, veteran, or disabled-owned firms;
- Passed resolution that supported the expansion of supportive services to former foster youth and formerly incarcerated students;
- Established the Ad Hoc Workforce Development Committee to explore how the district can strategically connect to business and labor partners, and to strengthen and expand its career pipeline opportunities; and
- Established HireLAX, an apprenticeship career pipeline that connects students at Southwest College with careers at the LAX airport.
Regardless of our zip code, we all deserve access to clean air, clean water, and useful green space. Health access is as much about how we take care of our bodies as it is about how we take care of our land.
While on the Board of Trustees for the LACCD, I have championed the integration of sustainable policies and practices in how we build and maintain the facilities at our colleges. I have fought to eliminate the use of toxic products on our campuses and have worked with our construction program to encourage LEED™ standard building practices. Environmental justice is as much about safety as it is about equity.
As your Assemblymember, I will fight to make sure that we contain and eliminate the toxic hazards that complicate our ability to live healthy lives.
Criminal Justice Reform
The heart of many conversations about criminal justice is how to balance fairness to the less advantaged, with the safety of our communities. I believe we can achieve both. Many of the most vulnerable among us in society – the poor, people of color, the youth, etc. – are most at risk when it comes to our criminal justice system.
We must always strive to improve our justice system to ensure due process and equity, starting even before someone enters the system. We must continue to be open about ways to train and support our law enforcement partners, and replace the “us vs. them” paradigm with a “we” mindset.
One of the reasons I became a Trustee on the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board is because the community college system is one of the best second-chance options in society. We need to continue to look at how we handle juveniles, the poor and the fragile.
Right now, we have a system that can be daunting for people who are poor, or who come from certain communities. As president of the LACCD Board of Trustees, I have seen what it is like when students receive another chance – people take them. I want to help create more of those second chance opportunities.
Housing availability and affordability has become a crisis issue in California. Poverty, displacement, and community redevelopment have forced Californians to rethink what it means to enjoy true quality of life opportunities in our beautiful state. I am committed to developing and supporting solutions that will alleviate our housing shortage and affordability crisis.
As president of the LACCD Board of Trustees, I have created and supported several policies to address our student housing crisis:
As President of the LACCD Board of Trustees, I:
- Launched a student needs assessment to better understand the scope of LACCD student housing, food and transportation challenges to develop viable next steps;
- Established homelessness solution liaisons at each of our community college campuses to support former foster youth and housing insecure students; and
- Developed a partnership between LACCD and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority so that our district can take a leadership role to address student homelessness and housing.
As your next Assemblywoman, I will fight for affordable housing development and support ideas to create more housing and make it more affordable. We must address our critical lack of supply. We should look at ways to use state funding to leverage the removal of unreasonable local restrictions on affordable housing and support infill housing. We should consider ideas and policies for inclusionary zoning in circumstances where it makes sense, address housing density, and examine partnership opportunities for workforce housing developments.
Lack of housing for those who can least afford it is at a critical juncture in California and threatens our entire economy. We can no longer sit idly by and watch the American Dream disappear for so many. We need leaders who will act and address the crisis head-on.