A Look at the Packed Race for LAUSD’s District 5

The special election for Los Angeles Unified’s Board District 5 is just two weeks away. Ten candidates are in the running for the seat, which was left vacant after Ref Rodríguez pleaded guilty to money laundering and resigned. To win outright, a candidate would need more than 50% of the vote. Otherwise, the top two will head for a runoff in May.

Here are some important things to know about the District 5 seat:

  • It encompasses some 100,000 students from such diverse communities as Huntington Park, Maywood, Bell, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and Los Feliz.
  • It has the second-highest concentration of Latino students (89%).
  • Its next representative will serve just one and a half years on the board and could end up being a critical swing vote in future school board decisions.

L.A. School report has an excellent profile on the 10 contenders. They include East Los Angeles College Professor Ana Cubas, who formerly worked for L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar and founded the Latina Public Service Academy; former District 5 representative Jackie Goldberg; Diego Rivera Learning Complex Principal Cynthia Gonzalez; former Camino Nuevo Charter Academy operations and strategy chief Allison Greenwood Bajracharya; Huntington Park Council Member Graciela “Grace” Ortiz; Eric Garcetti aide Heather Repenning; L.A. Unified community representative Rocio Rivas; Los Angeles City College Professor Salvador “Chamba” Sanchez; Los Angeles County Arts Commissioner David Valdez; and Bell City Councilman Nestor Enrique Valencia.

Read all about the candidates here


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