2022 LAUSD SCHOOL BOARD RACE

ELECT CHAMPIONS FOR EDUCATION & SCHOOL WORKERS

ELECT CHAMPIONS FOR EDUCATION & SCHOOL WORKERS

VOTE TUESDAY, JUNE 7

What’s at Stake
Meet Our Candidates
Take Action

Equity at LAUSD

A School Board Election to Make it or Break it

School board members decide on a number of things that impact school jobs and the quality of student services.

They vote on SEIU Local 99 members’ contracts and make policy and budget decisions that impact staffing levels, training, wages, benefits and much more.

This is why we need partners on the school board, like Maria Brenes, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez. They understand that the student services we provide go hand-in-hand with the quality of education.

These candidates have proven their commitment to equity in education for students and school workers, and have pledged to work with SEIU Local 99 members to ensure clean, safe and supportive schools for all.

Help elect these champions to the LAUSD School Board!

For Board District 2

Maria Brenes

  • Strengthening of policy, programs and initiatives that create quality and engaging pathways toward college ready graduation for all students with an equity lens to ensure targeted support and resources toward our highest need students and schools.
  • Uplifting the need for culturally relevant education approaches including Ethnic Studies.
  • Supporting the expansion and strengthening of early education programs and services to boost academic. achievement and ensure our youngest learners and their families are supported holistically.
  • Improving school climate for students of color and in particular Black students.
  • Initiatives supporting English Learners, LGTBQ students and Indigenous students.
  • The Student Equity Needs Index
  • Special Education
  • Increasing Equitable Staffing and Employee Compensation

Maria’s work at InnerCity Struggle (ICS) for nearly 20 years has focused on exposing the inequities that persist in our schools and communities and building a community institution that serves as an anchor for movement building in the Eastside of Los Angeles.

ICS’ work in educational justice has targeted the dismantling of the school-to-jail pipeline and uplifting the hopes and aspirations of Eastside students and families. They have demanded higher expectations for our students and greater public investment.

She has worked to bring together intergenerational leaders that have strategically advanced campaigns by providing grassroot leaders the tools to identify the problem they seek to change, to articulate what is at stake and to propose solutions.

Her work has focused on preparing youth and adult resident leaders to strategically collaborate and build power through base-building, leadership development and direct action.

Maria believes that authentic movement leadership is about developing the leadership of others who are most impacted by the issues to build from past wins and to demand more and bolder change.

Maria also believes structural racism in education, housing, health and public safety systems are barriers to just and healthy communities. InnerCity Struggle has demonstrated that by serving as an independent organizing entity long-term – change is possible. Maria oversaw ICS’ most significant wins, including the construction of new LAUSD public schools for the Eastside, A-G for All, eliminating willful defiance as grounds for suspension, Breakfast-in-the-Classroom, the Student Equity Needs Index and wellness centers at Mendez and Roosevelt high schools.

Maria’s approach to equity and social justice will remain the same if elected to the School Board – to be a vehicle for change by uplifting grassroot voices, empowering them to weigh in on policy and building coalitions that win justice and equity.

Recent accomplishments:

  • 2019 – served as official co-author for Measure EE and author for the rebuttal to the opposition’s argument published in the LA County Voter InnerCity Struggle served as the Eastside of LA HUB for voter education and mobilization efforts in support of Measure EE.
  • 2019/2020 – InnerCity Struggle actively gathered thousands of signatures from Eastside of LA voters in support of placing the Schools and Communities First Act on the state ballot and led voter education and mobilization efforts in the Eastside of LA leading up to Election Day in support of Proposition 15.
  • 2020 – appointed to the Search Committee for the next East Los Angeles College
  • 2020 – helped launch the LA County Measure J campaign to re-imagine public safety by proposing to set aside 10% of the County’s general fund toward alternatives to incarceration.
  • 2020 – actively supported campaign efforts to defund LA School Police resulting in a historic 35% cut to the department and the redirecting of resources to supporting Black students and their achievement.
  • 2020 – worked with LA County public health departments, philanthropic partners and community organizations to design an equity-based rapid response program to systematically address the devastating impact of the pandemic on highest need communities through outreach, education and systems
  • 2020 – 2021 – designed and implemented COVID-19 rapid response and mutual aid programs at InnerCity Struggle that has resulted in the distribution of $500,000+ to over 600 Eastside of LA youth and families. Raised funds for InnerCity Struggle to distribute hundreds of laptops, noise canceling headphones and WI-FI hotspots to Eastside youth attending LAUSD schools. Have connected nearly 2,000 Eastside residents to COVID-19 vaccine appointments and host a vaccine mobile clinic at our site in Boyle Heights.
  • Supports LAUSD appropriately allocating funding to maintaining clean schools and would ensure this funding does not get cut during budget shortfalls.
  • Believes an equitable focus is needed and that the most historically under-resourced schools should be prioritized.
  • Will continue to advocate for increased funding to public education statewide and locally, and supporting coalition building efforts to advance the work in this area. InnerCity Struggle has supported Measure Q, Proposition 30, Proposition 55, Proposition 15, Measure EE and Measure RR.
  • Will make expanding and strengthening the Community Schools initiative a priority, and supports Local 99 members being included in the daily operations of Community Schools.
  • As a LAUSD parent of a student with an IEP, supports:
    • increasing resources to improve personalization in the learning environment so that every student with an IEP can meet and exceed their goals on a timeline that is realistic yet ambitious.
    • increasing investment in staffing and student services
    • dismantling the school-to-jail pipeline by implementing restorative justice practices and advocating for alternatives to suspension and expulsion.
    • SEIU Local 99 members being trained to provide Behavioral Intervention Implementation services to students.

Union Endorsements

  • SEIU Local 99
  • SEIU Local 721
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
  • Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11
  • Laborers’ Local 300
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36 & Local 831
  • Local 12 International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Teamsters 572
  • United Association Local Union 250
  • United Steelworkers Local 675

Political Endorsements

  • Dolores Huerta
  • Northeast Democratic Club
  • Congress member Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Congress member Jimmy Gomez
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis
  • State Senator Maria Elena Durazo
  • State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo
  • Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo
  • Assemblymember Isaac Bryan
  • LAUSD School Board Member Monica Garcia
  • LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson

Maria Brenes has been a leading voice in education for over 20 years. As a community leader and Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle—a non-profit organization on LA’s Eastside—her organizing efforts have resulted in more resources for our schools and improved outcomes for students and families. Maria:

  • Is a parent of a LAUSD student
  • Supports greater investment in the Student Equity Needs Index, an equity-based funding model that boosts resources to schools that have been historically pushed aside.
  • Fought alongside SEIU Local 99 members to demand more hours, healthcare, and equitable salaries for classified school employees.
  • Stood with Childcare Providers as they fought for the right to form a union
  • Testified before the Board of Education in support of our members demands to improve Special Education services for students—attesting to the positive impact our members in Special Education have on the lives of children. Maria is a parent of a special needs child at LAUSD herself.
  • Established support programs that have helped hundreds of Eastside youth attend college.
  • Helped win policies that expand wellness centers in our schools and redirect hundreds of millions of dollars into the neighborhoods that need them the most.
  • Strengthening of policy, programs and initiatives that create quality and engaging pathways toward college ready graduation for all students with an equity lens to ensure targeted support and resources toward our highest need students and schools.
  • Uplifting the need for culturally relevant education approaches including Ethnic Studies.
  • Supporting the expansion and strengthening of early education programs and services to boost academic. achievement and ensure our youngest learners and their families are supported holistically.
  • Improving school climate for students of color and in particular Black students.
  • Initiatives supporting English Learners, LGTBQ students and Indigenous students.
  • The Student Equity Needs Index
  • Special Education
  • Increasing Equitable Staffing and Employee Compensation

Maria’s work at InnerCity Struggle (ICS) for nearly 20 years has focused on exposing the inequities that persist in our schools and communities and building a community institution that serves as an anchor for movement building in the Eastside of Los Angeles.

ICS’ work in educational justice has targeted the dismantling of the school-to-jail pipeline and uplifting the hopes and aspirations of Eastside students and families. They have demanded higher expectations for our students and greater public investment.

She has worked to bring together intergenerational leaders that have strategically advanced campaigns by providing grassroot leaders the tools to identify the problem they seek to change, to articulate what is at stake and to propose solutions.

Her work has focused on preparing youth and adult resident leaders to strategically collaborate and build power through base-building, leadership development and direct action.

Maria believes that authentic movement leadership is about developing the leadership of others who are most impacted by the issues to build from past wins and to demand more and bolder change.

Maria also believes structural racism in education, housing, health and public safety systems are barriers to just and healthy communities. InnerCity Struggle has demonstrated that by serving as an independent organizing entity long-term – change is possible. Maria oversaw ICS’ most significant wins, including the construction of new LAUSD public schools for the Eastside, A-G for All, eliminating willful defiance as grounds for suspension, Breakfast-in-the-Classroom, the Student Equity Needs Index and wellness centers at Mendez and Roosevelt high schools.

Maria’s approach to equity and social justice will remain the same if elected to the School Board – to be a vehicle for change by uplifting grassroot voices, empowering them to weigh in on policy and building coalitions that win justice and equity.

Recent accomplishments:

  • 2019 – served as official co-author for Measure EE and author for the rebuttal to the opposition’s argument published in the LA County Voter InnerCity Struggle served as the Eastside of LA HUB for voter education and mobilization efforts in support of Measure EE.
  • 2019/2020 – InnerCity Struggle actively gathered thousands of signatures from Eastside of LA voters in support of placing the Schools and Communities First Act on the state ballot and led voter education and mobilization efforts in the Eastside of LA leading up to Election Day in support of Proposition 15.
  • 2020 – appointed to the Search Committee for the next East Los Angeles College
  • 2020 – helped launch the LA County Measure J campaign to re-imagine public safety by proposing to set aside 10% of the County’s general fund toward alternatives to incarceration.
  • 2020 – actively supported campaign efforts to defund LA School Police resulting in a historic 35% cut to the department and the redirecting of resources to supporting Black students and their achievement.
  • 2020 – worked with LA County public health departments, philanthropic partners and community organizations to design an equity-based rapid response program to systematically address the devastating impact of the pandemic on highest need communities through outreach, education and systems
  • 2020 – 2021 – designed and implemented COVID-19 rapid response and mutual aid programs at InnerCity Struggle that has resulted in the distribution of $500,000+ to over 600 Eastside of LA youth and families. Raised funds for InnerCity Struggle to distribute hundreds of laptops, noise canceling headphones and WI-FI hotspots to Eastside youth attending LAUSD schools. Have connected nearly 2,000 Eastside residents to COVID-19 vaccine appointments and host a vaccine mobile clinic at our site in Boyle Heights.
  • Supports LAUSD appropriately allocating funding to maintaining clean schools and would ensure this funding does not get cut during budget shortfalls.
  • Believes an equitable focus is needed and that the most historically under-resourced schools should be prioritized.
  • Will continue to advocate for increased funding to public education statewide and locally, and supporting coalition building efforts to advance the work in this area. InnerCity Struggle has supported Measure Q, Proposition 30, Proposition 55, Proposition 15, Measure EE and Measure RR.
  • Will make expanding and strengthening the Community Schools initiative a priority, and supports Local 99 members being included in the daily operations of Community Schools.
  • As a LAUSD parent of a student with an IEP, supports:
    • increasing resources to improve personalization in the learning environment so that every student with an IEP can meet and exceed their goals on a timeline that is realistic yet ambitious.
    • increasing investment in staffing and student services
    • dismantling the school-to-jail pipeline by implementing restorative justice practices and advocating for alternatives to suspension and expulsion.
    • SEIU Local 99 members being trained to provide Behavioral Intervention Implementation services to students.

Union Endorsements

  • SEIU Local 99
  • SEIU Local 721
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
  • Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11
  • Laborers’ Local 300
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36 & Local 831
  • Local 12 International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Teamsters 572
  • United Association Local Union 250
  • United Steelworkers Local 675

Political Endorsements

  • Dolores Huerta
  • Northeast Democratic Club
  • Congress member Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Congress member Jimmy Gomez
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis
  • State Senator Maria Elena Durazo
  • State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo
  • Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo
  • Assemblymember Isaac Bryan
  • LAUSD School Board Member Monica Garcia
  • LA City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson

For Board District 4

NICK MELVOIN

  • Fight Systemic Inequity: Despite representing a more affluent part of LAUSD, Nick will continue fighting systemic inequity that is holding far too many children, and their families back.
  • Continue to Ensure Local Control: Nick will continue to work towards decentralizing the District into 44 “Communities of Schools” to better meet local needs. These “mini districts” will enable LAUSD to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
  • Build Back Better. As we reopened schools, we focused on investing in supportive programs like small group tutoring, outdoor education, mental health, and other vital services that help kids grow both academically and socio-emotionally. Nick successfully advocated for the passage of Measure RR, the largest package of its kind in the country, which provided $7 billion to make schools safer and
  • Investments in early education and primary grades
  • School climate, cleanliness, facilities and safety
  • Building back arts, outdoor, and after school

Nick has served as a LAUSD Board member for four years, three of those as Vice President. During that time, he helped the District navigate Superintendent searches, a teacher’s strike, natural disasters, and the impact of COVID-19. Despite the challenges, he has been able to make progress on some key initiatives, such as the Communities of Schools Model, the Primary Promise, the Student Equity Needs Index, expansion of pre-k, College Savings Accounts, emerging from a special education consent decree, and more funding for the arts and outdoor education.

  • Supports creating full-time classified positions with benefits in school supervision, in-class tutoring, and after-school enrichment.
  • Supports equity in bargaining, and will support differentiated raises for lower-income workers versus percentage raises across the board.
  • Supports district housing and other benefits to meet the most urgent housing needs for workers and their families.
  • Supports child care as an employee benefit (e.g. as a stipend) and has asked the District to explore partnership opportunities.
  • Will advocate at the state level for clear cleaning standards and adequate funding for maintenance and operations. Helped increase funding to schools for custodial services last year.
  • Voted for a historic increase in staffing at LAUSD to hasten recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
  • Supports more SEIU Local 99 members’ participation in the development of community schools, recognizing that members often live in the same community as schools they work at.
  • Supports full funding of IDEA, and increasing special education funding. This includes investing in more BII training for existing special ed assistants.

Union Endorsements

  • SEIU Local 99
  • Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 12
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) CD Council 36
  • Teamsters Union Local 572
  • Stonewall Democratic Club

Political Endorsements

  • Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Former Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan
  • Hon. Zev Yaroslavsky
  • Senators Sydney Kamlager, Ben Allen, Henry Stern
  • Assemblymembers Jesse Gabriel and Laura Friedman
  • West Hollywood City Councilman John Erickson
  • Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs

Nick is acutely aware of the systemic inequities that exist in our schools and communities — including barriers to healthcare, a living wage, and retirement — and is committed to addressing them. As a school board member, Nick:

  • Supported the expansion of health care, PPE, and hero pay for classified employees.
  • Supported the Summer Bridge program and the establishment of State standards for clean and sanitary schools.
  • Will continue to ensure local control of funding to cut the red tape and empower schools to determine how to best meet the needs of the communities they serve.
  • Supported historic investments in Black students through the Black Student Achievement Plan—a plan that redirects a portion of police funding to safety and wellness supports.
  • Supports increasing hours and access to health care benefits for classified employees, and the creation of new, full-time positions.
  • Expanded the District’s student equity index to direct more resources and dollars to the under-served students who need them. This includes a $700 million flexible investment in schools, along with increased early literacy programs and mental health professionals.
  • Fight Systemic Inequity: Despite representing a more affluent part of LAUSD, Nick will continue fighting systemic inequity that is holding far too many children, and their families back.
  • Continue to Ensure Local Control: Nick will continue to work towards decentralizing the District into 44 “Communities of Schools” to better meet local needs. These “mini districts” will enable LAUSD to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
  • Build Back Better. As we reopened schools, we focused on investing in supportive programs like small group tutoring, outdoor education, mental health, and other vital services that help kids grow both academically and socio-emotionally. Nick successfully advocated for the passage of Measure RR, the largest package of its kind in the country, which provided $7 billion to make schools safer and
  • Investments in early education and primary grades
  • School climate, cleanliness, facilities and safety
  • Building back arts, outdoor, and after school

Nick has served as a LAUSD Board member for four years, three of those as Vice President. During that time, he helped the District navigate Superintendent searches, a teacher’s strike, natural disasters, and the impact of COVID-19. Despite the challenges, he has been able to make progress on some key initiatives, such as the Communities of Schools Model, the Primary Promise, the Student Equity Needs Index, expansion of pre-k, College Savings Accounts, emerging from a special education consent decree, and more funding for the arts and outdoor education.

  • Supports creating full-time classified positions with benefits in school supervision, in-class tutoring, and after-school enrichment.
  • Supports equity in bargaining, and will support differentiated raises for lower-income workers versus percentage raises across the board.
  • Supports district housing and other benefits to meet the most urgent housing needs for workers and their families.
  • Supports child care as an employee benefit (e.g. as a stipend) and has asked the District to explore partnership opportunities.
  • Will advocate at the state level for clear cleaning standards and adequate funding for maintenance and operations. Helped increase funding to schools for custodial services last year.
  • Voted for a historic increase in staffing at LAUSD to hasten recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
  • Supports more SEIU Local 99 members’ participation in the development of community schools, recognizing that members often live in the same community as schools they work at.
  • Supports full funding of IDEA, and increasing special education funding. This includes investing in more BII training for existing special ed assistants.

Union Endorsements

  • SEIU Local 99
  • Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 12
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) CD Council 36
  • Teamsters Union Local 572
  • Stonewall Democratic Club

Political Endorsements

  • Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Former Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan
  • Hon. Zev Yaroslavsky
  • Senators Sydney Kamlager, Ben Allen, Henry Stern
  • Assemblymembers Jesse Gabriel and Laura Friedman
  • West Hollywood City Councilman John Erickson
  • Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs

For Board District 6

Kelly Gonez

Implementing universal preschool and high-quality early education: As Board President, Kelly brought together a coalition of parents, advocates, educators and leaders to successfully commit the District to providing universal preschool to all three and four year olds by the 2024-25 school year. The resolution she authored led to the creation of 25 new early learning programs in Fall 2021 and puts Los Angeles on a path to provide access to high-quality preschool programs run by LAUSD and partner community and family providers in the next three years. As the school district works toward implementation, programs will be expanded to serve the communities and students most in need first. A critical component will be exploring opportunities to provide greater access to early education programs for our employees and ensuring that the jobs created by the expansion of our programs, including our classified positions, provide a living wage, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for training and career advancement. I will also advocate for more resources to ensure high-quality learning continues beyond early education.

Incorporating equity into all LA Unified policies: While working to improve the schools across Los Angeles Unified, Kelly has championed the needs of students of color, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, and foster youth. She secured millions in additional funding for the highest needs schools in the East San Fernando Valley and helped to triple the number of dual language programs and greatly increase magnet programs in Board District 6, providing opportunities that historically have not existed for underserved communities like mine. She led an effort to desegregate LAUSD schools and programs, promoting greater diversity and equitable access to the District’s most in-demand offerings. She will continue to advocate for a more equitable distribution of funding to support the highest-needs students and schools and will continue fighting for additional resources and policies that meet the holistic needs of all students.

Increasing college and career readiness: While the District has made important strides in increasing high school graduation rates, Kelly wants to go farther and ensure that every student graduating from Los Angeles Unified is prepared to succeed in college, career, and beyond. She is leading the Board to address the obstacles that low-income students of color continue to face in graduating college-eligible and prepared. During her time as Board President, the Board created a vision for the District centered on key goals to improve student outcomes, focusing on college and career readiness, numeracy, literacy, and socioemotional competencies. She spearheaded the District’s SAT For All Initiative, which led to a 40 percent increase in the number of students taking the SAT and a dramatic expansion in those who were eligible to go to four-year universities. During her tenure, graduation and college-going rates in the East San Fernando Valley have increased. She will build on these achievements to ensure that every child who graduates from LAUSD is able to achieve their dreams in college and careers, and that the District provides the necessary supports to meet this goal at every school site.

  • Ensuring equity in funding to serve our highest needs students and schools in historically under-resourced communities
  • Ensuring that we are providing fair compensation, benefits, and resources for school staff, teachers, and school leaders to recruit and retain the best talent, develop our staff, and recognize the importance of the work that they do everyday
  • Increasing and directing funds in a strategic, evidence-based effort to support our schools, including by increasing support staff, providing wrap-around services, and improving school culture and climate.

Kelly has dedicated her life to fighting for educational equity on behalf of children and families.

She served as the Board representative for the East San Fernando Valley for the past four years, and the President of the Board for eight months, amidst the worst stages of the coronavirus pandemic. She is the Chair-Elect of the Council of Great City Schools and has served on the California School Boards Association Board of Directors and Legislative Committee, lending her a critical opportunity to advocate for Los Angeles Unified in Sacramento and Washington D.C. In her time on the Board, she has championed investing in our schools more equitably, brought high-quality programs to East Valley communities, expanded early childhood education programs, and brought additional support to our students experiencing homelessness and our foster youth.

She pushed for initiatives that would benefit our entire school communities, including building affordable housing for our employees and families facing housing instability, a Summer Bridge program for classified employees, and successfully advocated for more funding for public schools at the state and federal levels.

Prior to serving on the Board, she was an experienced teacher leader, who led many school-wide projects on my campuses, including science fairs, anti-bullying programs, and family health events. She has taught while earning my Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola Marymount University.

In 2014, she was appointed by President Obama to become an education policy advisor in his administration. She led the President’s work to support special populations of students, including English language learners, immigrant students, homeless children, and children in foster care, and their families. This included managing and leading the policy work related to several formula and competitive grant programs, which provide multi-million dollar grants to States and school districts across the country.

Kelly played a pivotal role in the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was a much-lauded bipartisan victory, and led the way for a number of positive policy changes related to special populations of students. Along the way, she secured $50 million more funding to provide much-needed support and resources for special populations of students.

  • Believes strongly in the quality of the work done by our SEIU Local 99 members, and has been a consistent voice on the Board to ensure fidelity to work within the scope of appropriate bargaining units. Kelly will continue to work in partnership with Local 99 to address any challenges that may arise.
  • Supports a living wage for working families. Kelly supported raising the minimum wage to $15 and has consistently voted in support of wage increases for SEIU Local 99 members in the contracts that have come before the Board.
  • Supports more hours to be provided for SEIU Local 99 members who currently don’t have the opportunity to work a full 8-hour day in their job classifications, and more investment in paid training opportunities and ladders for career advancement.
  • Supports efforts toward equitable access to health benefits, and will commit to working in partnership with SEIU Local 99 on this issue.
  • Will continue working with labor partners to identify ways to further reduce any reliance on outside contracts to perform essential District services, such as by providing pathways to in-demand careers for students.
  • Will continue supporting the partnerships with Carina and Child Care Alliance of LA and stipends to employees as a way to meet the demand among employees for child care benefits.
  • Will ensure SEIU Local 99 members and the full school community participates in decisions of how to spend newly-flexible dollars as part of the District’s move toward the Student Centered Funding Formula. Will advocate for mandated, equitable representation for classified employees at the table.
  • Supported using COVID-19 relief funds to increase custodial staffing for cleaning and sanitizing work sites.
  • Supports eliminating the budget reduction factor except in rare instances where there is overwhelming evidence of an imminent budget emergency.
  • Supported expanding the Community Schools model at LAUSD and ensuring funding for a full-time Community Representative to be a key part of the implementation at the local level.

Union Endorsements

  • SEIU Local 99
  • Operating Engineers 12
  • Roofers & Waterproofers Local 36
  • Steamfitters & Refrigeration UA 250
  • Sprinklerfitters Local 709
  • Teamsters Local 572
  • IBEW Local 40
  • Ironworkers 433
  • Los Angeles & Orange County Building and Construction Trades
  • UA District Council 16
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters 761
  • LiUNA 652
  • SMART Local 105
  • IBEW Local 11
  • Heat and Frost 5
  • LiUNA 300
  • LiUNA 1309
  • Painters & Allied Trades District Council 36

Political Endorsements

  • Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Congressmember Brad Sherman
  • Los Angeles City Council Member Bob Blumenfield
  • State Senator Ben Allen
  • Assemblymember Buffy Wicks
  • Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel
  • Assemblymember Laura Friedman
  • Mayor Sylvia Ballin, City of San Fernando
  • Vice Mayor Mary Mendoza, City of San Fernando
  • San Fernando City Council Member Cindy Montañez
  • San Fernando City Council Member Hector Pacheco
  • Revered Bob Wynn, African American Leadership Organization
  • Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

As a school board member, Kelly Gonez is guided by the needs of schools and communities. She is running for reelection to continue being a champion of equity for students and education. This means investing more in the student services we provide, and ensuring our jobs are good, stable jobs. As a board member, Kelly:

  • Supported the expansion of health care, PPE, and hero pay for classified employees.
  • Will ensure equity into all LAUSD policies. Kelly is committed to ensuring equity in funding to serve our highest need students and schools in historically under-resourced communities.
  • Will ensure LAUSD provides fair compensation, benefits, and resources for school staff and school leaders to recruit and retain the best talent, develop staff, and recognize the importance of the work that they do everyday.
  • Implemented universal preschool and high-quality early education. As Board President, Kelly brought together a coalition of parents, advocates, educators and leaders to successfully commit the District to providing universal preschool to all three and four year olds by the 2024-25 school year. The resolution she authored led to the creation of 25 new early learning programs in Fall 2021.
  • Is committed to increasing college and career readiness. While LUASD has made important strides in increasing high school graduation rates, Kelly want to go farther and ensure that every student graduating fromLos Angeles Unified is prepared to succeed in college, career, and beyond, especially among low-income students of color.

Implementing universal preschool and high-quality early education: As Board President, Kelly brought together a coalition of parents, advocates, educators and leaders to successfully commit the District to providing universal preschool to all three and four year olds by the 2024-25 school year. The resolution she authored led to the creation of 25 new early learning programs in Fall 2021 and puts Los Angeles on a path to provide access to high-quality preschool programs run by LAUSD and partner community and family providers in the next three years. As the school district works toward implementation, programs will be expanded to serve the communities and students most in need first. A critical component will be exploring opportunities to provide greater access to early education programs for our employees and ensuring that the jobs created by the expansion of our programs, including our classified positions, provide a living wage, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for training and career advancement. I will also advocate for more resources to ensure high-quality learning continues beyond early education.

Incorporating equity into all LA Unified policies: While working to improve the schools across Los Angeles Unified, Kelly has championed the needs of students of color, English learners, students experiencing homelessness, and foster youth. She secured millions in additional funding for the highest needs schools in the East San Fernando Valley and helped to triple the number of dual language programs and greatly increase magnet programs in Board District 6, providing opportunities that historically have not existed for underserved communities like mine. She led an effort to desegregate LAUSD schools and programs, promoting greater diversity and equitable access to the District’s most in-demand offerings. She will continue to advocate for a more equitable distribution of funding to support the highest-needs students and schools and will continue fighting for additional resources and policies that meet the holistic needs of all students.

Increasing college and career readiness: While the District has made important strides in increasing high school graduation rates, Kelly wants to go farther and ensure that every student graduating from Los Angeles Unified is prepared to succeed in college, career, and beyond. She is leading the Board to address the obstacles that low-income students of color continue to face in graduating college-eligible and prepared. During her time as Board President, the Board created a vision for the District centered on key goals to improve student outcomes, focusing on college and career readiness, numeracy, literacy, and socioemotional competencies. She spearheaded the District’s SAT For All Initiative, which led to a 40 percent increase in the number of students taking the SAT and a dramatic expansion in those who were eligible to go to four-year universities. During her tenure, graduation and college-going rates in the East San Fernando Valley have increased. She will build on these achievements to ensure that every child who graduates from LAUSD is able to achieve their dreams in college and careers, and that the District provides the necessary supports to meet this goal at every school site.

  • Ensuring equity in funding to serve our highest needs students and schools in historically under-resourced communities
  • Ensuring that we are providing fair compensation, benefits, and resources for school staff, teachers, and school leaders to recruit and retain the best talent, develop our staff, and recognize the importance of the work that they do everyday
  • Increasing and directing funds in a strategic, evidence-based effort to support our schools, including by increasing support staff, providing wrap-around services, and improving school culture and climate.

Kelly has dedicated her life to fighting for educational equity on behalf of children and families.

She served as the Board representative for the East San Fernando Valley for the past four years, and the President of the Board for eight months, amidst the worst stages of the coronavirus pandemic. She is the Chair-Elect of the Council of Great City Schools and has served on the California School Boards Association Board of Directors and Legislative Committee, lending her a critical opportunity to advocate for Los Angeles Unified in Sacramento and Washington D.C. In her time on the Board, she has championed investing in our schools more equitably, brought high-quality programs to East Valley communities, expanded early childhood education programs, and brought additional support to our students experiencing homelessness and our foster youth.

She pushed for initiatives that would benefit our entire school communities, including building affordable housing for our employees and families facing housing instability, a Summer Bridge program for classified employees, and successfully advocated for more funding for public schools at the state and federal levels.

Prior to serving on the Board, she was an experienced teacher leader, who led many school-wide projects on my campuses, including science fairs, anti-bullying programs, and family health events. She has taught while earning my Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola Marymount University.

In 2014, she was appointed by President Obama to become an education policy advisor in his administration. She led the President’s work to support special populations of students, including English language learners, immigrant students, homeless children, and children in foster care, and their families. This included managing and leading the policy work related to several formula and competitive grant programs, which provide multi-million dollar grants to States and school districts across the country.

Kelly played a pivotal role in the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was a much-lauded bipartisan victory, and led the way for a number of positive policy changes related to special populations of students. Along the way, she secured $50 million more funding to provide much-needed support and resources for special populations of students.

  • Believes strongly in the quality of the work done by our SEIU Local 99 members, and has been a consistent voice on the Board to ensure fidelity to work within the scope of appropriate bargaining units. Kelly will continue to work in partnership with Local 99 to address any challenges that may arise.
  • Supports a living wage for working families. Kelly supported raising the minimum wage to $15 and has consistently voted in support of wage increases for SEIU Local 99 members in the contracts that have come before the Board.
  • Supports more hours to be provided for SEIU Local 99 members who currently don’t have the opportunity to work a full 8-hour day in their job classifications, and more investment in paid training opportunities and ladders for career advancement.
  • Supports efforts toward equitable access to health benefits, and will commit to working in partnership with SEIU Local 99 on this issue.
  • Will continue working with labor partners to identify ways to further reduce any reliance on outside contracts to perform essential District services, such as by providing pathways to in-demand careers for students.
  • Will continue supporting the partnerships with Carina and Child Care Alliance of LA and stipends to employees as a way to meet the demand among employees for child care benefits.
  • Will ensure SEIU Local 99 members and the full school community participates in decisions of how to spend newly-flexible dollars as part of the District’s move toward the Student Centered Funding Formula. Will advocate for mandated, equitable representation for classified employees at the table.
  • Supported using COVID-19 relief funds to increase custodial staffing for cleaning and sanitizing work sites.
  • Supports eliminating the budget reduction factor except in rare instances where there is overwhelming evidence of an imminent budget emergency.
  • Supported expanding the Community Schools model at LAUSD and ensuring funding for a full-time Community Representative to be a key part of the implementation at the local level.

Union Endorsements

  • SEIU Local 99
  • Operating Engineers 12
  • Roofers & Waterproofers Local 36
  • Steamfitters & Refrigeration UA 250
  • Sprinklerfitters Local 709
  • Teamsters Local 572
  • IBEW Local 40
  • Ironworkers 433
  • Los Angeles & Orange County Building and Construction Trades
  • UA District Council 16
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters 761
  • LiUNA 652
  • SMART Local 105
  • IBEW Local 11
  • Heat and Frost 5
  • LiUNA 300
  • LiUNA 1309
  • Painters & Allied Trades District Council 36

Political Endorsements

  • Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Congressmember Brad Sherman
  • Los Angeles City Council Member Bob Blumenfield
  • State Senator Ben Allen
  • Assemblymember Buffy Wicks
  • Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel
  • Assemblymember Laura Friedman
  • Mayor Sylvia Ballin, City of San Fernando
  • Vice Mayor Mary Mendoza, City of San Fernando
  • San Fernando City Council Member Cindy Montañez
  • San Fernando City Council Member Hector Pacheco
  • Revered Bob Wynn, African American Leadership Organization
  • Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Sign-up to Talk to Voters

Your voice makes a difference! One of the most effective ways to win any kind of election—whether to elect an ally to office or win a ballot measure that boosts education funding—is to talk to a lot of voters. The more boots on the ground, the broader our reach. People like you who work in education make the strongest advocates for what is needed to improve student services and the quality of education. Join fellow SEIU Local 99 members in talking to voters starting April 2 to Election Day, June 7 and electing these three champions!

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Ad paid for by Service Employees International Union 99 Independent Expenditure PAC. Committee major funding from Service Employees International Union Local 99. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate