My Goals and Accomplishments
I believe a better tomorrow starts with access to affordable, high quality higher education.
Student Support and Success
Expanding support services for our students
College can be expensive, but it should not be unattainable. We answered President Obama’s challenge to provide 2 years of tuition-free Community College education with L.A.’s College Promise, which will offer 1-year free enrollment to all full time students graduating from LAUSD and charter high schools.
Poverty and homelessness are critical issues for our communities. In response to these growing epidemics, we conducted a full-scale student needs assessment to help determine how we address food, housing, child care, transportation and other basic needs that impede our students’ ability to succeed.
In response to the growing vitriol around immigrants, we took a stand and passed one of the strongest DACA/Mixed Status Student Protection resolutions in the nation. We support our students’ rights to attend college without fear of deportation or retaliation from law enforcement.
Nationwide, our former foster youth struggle in college settings. Less than 4% graduate. During my first year on the Board, we passed the “Foster Youth Students’ Success” resolution, directing the District to create a Foster & Homeless Student Resource guide, to identify a homeless student Liaison for each college, and to better coordinate with local partners and stakeholders.
I believe in the power of second chances. Our colleges offer second chances to many, including the formerly incarcerated, which is why I authored the “Graduation, Not Incarceration” resolution, which was passed unanimously. Now, we work with the courts system, probation departments, labor unions, the private sector and other restorative justice community-based organizations to identify resources, partnerships and strategies to help our formerly incarcerated students succeed.
Job Training & Opportunities
Connecting LACCD students with employers in Business and Labor
As Board President, I have continued the work of the workforce development committee. In response to the needs of our business partners, we created a District-wide inventory brochure for our Career and Technical Education programs, which we now use to profile our curriculum and competitiveness across various industry sectors.
In response to the evolving customer service needs of the LGBT and non-conforming gender communities, and in collaboration with LGBT education stakeholders, the District has initiated steps to design transgender workplace inclusive curriculum.
As a result of my initiative, and with the collaboration of two of our colleges, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has launched the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program in partnership with Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Los Angeles Southwest College, and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. The workforce development program prepares local residents for skilled craft labor careers to support the $15 billion capital improvement program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This hiring pipeline is the first of many targeted approaches to addressing the skilled-worker gap in Los Angeles.
After 10 years, the District now has a sole-source food vendor that will deliver high quality, affordable and healthy food to our college campuses. We have worked to make sure that our food vendors contract with local suppliers and hire our students.
Operations & Infrastructure
Aligning business practices & updating facilities
As a result of my efforts on Budget Committee, the District now requires at least 30% of business ventures utilizing District funds to include the participation of Small, Local, Emerging, and Disabled Veteran Owned (SLEDV) businesses. That is good business.
Over the years, the District has issued $41,000,000 in contracts to bond issuance firms. Under my leadership, we expanded our bond issuance vendor pool to include more small, emerging and minority-owned firms.
In 2016, we passed the largest bond in the history of the District. This will enable the District to continue its campus safety, modernization and construction efforts.
Ms. Aurora Godoy was a victim of the San Bernardino terror attacks. In honor of her life, she was awarded her AA degree posthumously. Under my leadership, the Board granted free LACCD college tuition to her son when he reaches college-age. It is a small but genuine gesture of how the District works to care of its own.