The Fight for Good Jobs & Quality Education at L.A. Schools Continues

ELECT CHAMPIONS FOR EDUCATION!

Graciela Ortiz and Tanya Ortiz Franklin
for LAUSD School Board

Election Day is March 5th, 2024

When SEIU Local 99 members took action last March to demand respect, fair wages, and more investment in student services at LAUSD, we won. But, it was just the beginning of our bigger fight to achieve equity in education, from early to higher education.

LAUSD—the second largest school district in the country—affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and working families across Los Angeles. That’s why the LAUSD School Board race is the next front of our ongoing fight. Your participation will make a difference in this race.

It’s time again for all of us to come together and make our collective voices heard! When we take action to elect partners to the LAUSD School Board, we all win.

Take Action: Sign-up to Talk to Voters

From January 13th to Election Day, March 5th, join SEIU Local 99 members on neighborhood walks to talk to voters about electing Graciela Ortiz and Tanya Ortiz Franklin. Sign-up below to participate.

Take Action: Sign-up to Talk to Voters

From January 13th to Election Day, March 5th, join SEIU Local 99 members on neighborhood walks to talk to voters about electing Graciela Ortiz and Tanya Ortiz Franklin. Sign-up below to participate.

Let’s Get Talking!

How SEIU Local 99 Members Campaign to Win

Want to know more about canvassing neighborhoods and talking to voters?

In this video, SEIU Local 99 members Yolanda Mims Reed, Jazmin Araujo-Vargas and Jose Tovar give us a rundown of what this school board race is all about and show us what people-powered politics looks like.

MEET OUR CHAMPIONS

Graciela and Tanya will stand with us in the fight for better wages, more hours, full staffing, and an end to privatization of our public schools. Watch their special video message to SEIU Local 99 members, learn more about them and visit their campaign websites to read about their plans to improve our schools.

Board District 5

Southeast LA, South LA, Koreatown, Atwater Village, Eagle Rock

Graciela Ortiz

Graciela Ortiz was born and raised in Huntington Park as the youngest of four siblings. She always knew that her passion was in helping children and being their advocate. So, she became a Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor at LAUSD upon receiving her master’s degree. She served as a PSA Counselor at Banning High School, Peary Middle School, a Lead District Counselor, seven years in the Huntington Park community at Linda Esperanza Marquez High School and is now an administrator with Pupil Services.

Graciela was elected to Huntington Park’s City Council in 2015 and was re-elected in 2020. She served as Mayor of Huntington Park from 2016 to 2017 and from 2021 to 2022. She currently represents Huntington Park on the HUB Cities Consortium Board where she was the Board Chair for two years. Throughout her 17 years with the district, she has been an active UTLA member. As a Councilmember, Graciela has collaborated with schools and educators in the city to provide resources, opportunities and programs that will enhance the education of all children.

As an experienced educator and LAUSD graduate, she says, “Far too often, we see seats filled by those detached from the realities our students encounter daily. I’ve experienced the district’s strengths and its needs. This is why I know, with every fiber of my being, that I am the most suited to champion our kids’ dreams from that board seat.Learn more about Graciela.

Board District 7

South LA, Carson, Gardena, Watts, San Pedro

Tanya Ortiz Franklin

Tanya Ortiz Franklin is a current School Board Member for Los Angeles Unified, Board District 7, where she has been an LAUSD student, teacher, teacher-educator, and advocate.

Since taking office in December 2020, Tanya has authored 9 board-approved resolutions resulting in significantly improved school conditions for students, including enacting more equitable grading across the district; providing high-speed broadband internet in the homes of more than 100,000 students; improving strategies to recruit, retain and support more Black educators; ensuring more arts access for all TK-12th grade students; and improving community collaborations, such as safe passages, to keep students safe.

Tanya has also fought to ensure schools with the highest-need students receive the greatest amount of resources, including stable and highly-qualified staff as well as additional dollars to invest in school-site priorities.

During the last LAUSD contract negotiation, Tanya regularly raised the issue of the wealth gap among LAUSD employees and in Spring, she fought to ensure the district’s labor negotiations team had the board’s direction to raise the minimum wage, expand health benefits coverage to more employees, and create an education and training fund for classified employees. Learn more about Tanya.

Why Graciela & Tanya?

Every candidate for office SEIU Local 99 endorses goes through a member-led selection process. This process includes extensive interviews conducted by member leaders, a rigorous questionnaire completed by candidates, and town hall meetings where rank-and-file SEIU Local 99 members interview and vote to endorse the candidates. For this LAUSD School Board Primary Election, SEIU Local 99 members chose to endorse Graciela Ortiz (District 5) and Tanya Ortiz Franklin (District 7) because they demonstrated that they truly understand and value the work of special education assistants, food service workers, bus drivers, custodians and so many other frontline workers who are essential to student learning. Note: Although Board District seats 1 and 3 are up for election, members decided not to endorse candidates for those races.

THE SCHOOL BOARD & OUR JOBS

How the school board impacts our jobs and education, and our power to decide who sits on the board

The LAUSD School Board is the governing, policy-making body of the entire school district. Board members decide on a number of things that impact our jobs and the quality of student services. They vote on SEIU Local 99 members’ contracts and make policy and budget decisions that affect staffing levels, training, wages, benefits and much more.

This is why we need partners on the school board who not only understand that the student services we provide go hand-in-hand with the quality of education, but will make the right decisions for students and school workers when it matters the most.

How well do you know what the school board does and doesn’t do? Take a short quiz to find out!

We Have the Power to Choose Our Boss. Here’s how.

Besides voting, one of the most effective ways to win an election is to talk to a lot of voters. The more boots on the ground, the broader our reach and the more supporters we gain for Graciela and Tanya. This is how we can decide who represents Board District 5 and 7 on March 5th:

Ad paid for by Service Employees International Union Local 99. 3530 Wilshire Blvd. #1800, Los Angeles, CA 90010.