Raquel Zamora has a master's degree from USC, has been a teacher, social worker and is currently a counselor. She stressed that she knows the problems of the community thoroughly.

Many await the primary elections on March 3 to find out who will be the Democratic presidential candidate who faces the current President Donald Trump in November.

However, at the local level there will also be elections that have the same importance or will affect it more directly. These are the elections to elect the councilors of the city of Los Angeles.

Seven of the 15 politicians who currently represent the city will be on the ballot; Although one of them seems to attract more attention for having candidates of great political weight.

It is the 14th district, currently represented by Councilman José Huizar, which runs from Boyle Heights to downtown Los Angeles, and parts of northeastern Los Angeles.

Among the most recognized candidates are Senate President Emeritus Kevin de León and one of the representatives of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Mónica García.

However, a resident of Boyle Heights without popularity and political weight, is betting on winning this contest that some say would be an uphill struggle.

Zamora participated in the teacher strike of 2019. (Provided)

Raquel Zamora, 38, has been a teacher and social worker for more than a decade. She currently works as a student counselor for John C. Fremont High School in southern Los Angeles and owns a small business in Boyle Heights.

She said the main reason she decided to run for councilor in Los Angeles is because she heard that a candidate — Kevin de León — planned to run for councilor, but in order to run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2022.

"Then I started talking to community leaders and I thought of other people to be launched and they all said no," said the candidate of Mexican roots. “Then I sat down, talked to my family and said, I'm going to run. I have nothing to lose".

Zamora said that as a lifelong resident of District 14, she feels the need for a councilor to truly represent the needs of the community.

The counselor praised the work she has done at the state level, including pro-immigrant laws. However, he said that at the local level he lacks much to know the true issues that impact the community.

“It is very different when we have the problem of homeless people in the streets, evictions of families, garbage, merchants and small businesses that are suffering. I don't think he has a good perspective at the local level, ”said Zamora. "He has no long term commitment and that is worrisome."

Zamora has a group of community leaders who support her in her candidacy. (Supplied)

Knowing the needs first hand

Zamora said she has worked for 11 years as a teacher in public schools at LAUSD and for three years serves as a student counselor focusing on homeless students.

“I have more than 200 students who identify as homeless and I am always looking for programs where they can receive food, shelter and clothing,” said Zamora. "I also warn them of the importance of attending school every day so that it does not affect them academically."

Zamora said that in 2012 he earned his master's degree in social work at the University of Southern California (USC). As a teacher, she expressed, she realized that the mental health of the students affected them severely in the studies.

“Many of my students when they failed a class asked them,‘ If you are very intelligent, why did you fail? And they told me, "because they deported my mother" or "they are evicting us from our apartment." So I said, I want to help these students with their mental health because they are depressed. They have a lot of anxiety, ”said Zamora.

In the small business environment, the candidate is also considered an expert since she grew up in the family business Zamora Bros., a butcher shop and restaurant located on the popular Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights.

Zamora filed its documentation to run for district 14. (Provided)

This year the butcher shop celebrated its 50th anniversary and Zamora said that as owners they have experienced everything. From selling their popular carnitas, chicharrones and chorizo ​​Irapuato style, to getting ahead after the business burned in 2013; In addition, this past December 23, his family was the victim of a shop robbery.

“I think that as a teacher, as a merchant, as a single mother, as a social worker and a lifelong resident of this area, I have a perspective of what happens in all these communities,” said Zamora.

Grassroots campaign

Zamora accepted that he has neither the popularity that some of his opponents have, nor the money to maintain a high-profile campaign. So she is dedicated to knocking on doors after leaving her job with a group of supporters. Her daughter Valentina Zamora, 4, also accompanies her on occasion.

Another medium he uses is social networks where he hopes to reach the youngest voters on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Through his campaign "Restore faith in public service" Zamora hopes to return the trust of residents, who are not very comfortable with outgoing councilor Huizar.

"We cannot deny the good work he has done for the district, but there are some things that are being dropped because he doesn't have much staff," Zamora added.

Zamora said he will be a role model for his 4-year-old daughter. (Supplied)

The educator said that she plans to work with community leaders, who will be her eyes and ears. Additionally, it has the support of the UTLA teachers union.

If elected as a councilor, Zamora could become the third woman of the Los Angeles city council, which currently has 15 members.

Zamora believes that there should be more women in positions of power to vote on policies that directly affect them, and not leave their luck to men alone.

"I think that if the people choose me, I will work with the heels well placed for the communities," Zamora said.


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