The candidate talks about her priorities to reach the seat corresponding to District 14 of the Los Angeles Council

With the strong and sure voice that characterizes her inside and outside the board meetings of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Monica Garcia is now running as a candidate for city council of the city of Los Angeles for District 14.

“I want this job,” he said this week during a meeting with the La Opinion editorial team. "I want to dedicate myself to this community."

The District that the candidate, 51, seeks to represent includes downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Eagle Rock and parts of Highland Park.

"I have a lot of experience in getting the systems to change, but it is required that the people, strong and united, be present," said Garcia, who has worked for the LAUSD School Board for 14 years and was president of it eight times.

Two years after completing her position as a representative of District 2 of LAUSD, the Mexican roots candidate says she seeks the opportunity to expand her experience and continue helping her community but now at the municipal level.

Ensures that if elected councilor, "my focus will be the welfare of the community."

At the beginning of his campaign, Garcia invited residents of District 14 to fill out a form to find the issues that concern them most. The main three were homelessness / housing, safe streets and clean streets, he said.

Monica García is running as a candidate for council district 14 in Los Angeles. (Jacqueline García / The Opinion)

Improving the education of District 14

The candidate said that during her time at LAUSD she has seen an increase in school enrollments and high school graduations.

These include people from ethnic minorities, which in LAUSD is 91%. Of that total, 74% is Latino and 84% young people from low-income families.

“When I entered LAUSD, I knew that this system had to change because I did not accept that 50% of young people did not finish school. It didn't reflect the community I knew, ”recalled Garcia who graduated from UC Berkeley and USC.

“And now that I am going to finish my shift at the School Board, I offer myself as a candidate because in the areas I will represent I see a Los Angeles with a lot of opportunity and a lot of pain. I think this system can also change, ”said the candidate.

Working as Guillermina and Miguel taught him

Garcia is presented as a community candidate. He speaks openly about the humble origins of his parents, Miguel and Guillermina García, as immigrants and the effort they made to make her and her brothers achieve a better future.

For this reason, he says, he plans to put emphasis on issues that affect immigrants such as housing and homelessness to prevent more families from being evicted. He added that in the Boyle Heights area, about 79% of residents are renters and live with anxiety and worry.

"People cannot live in Los Angeles due to high (rental) prices but we must have several proposals for solutions," Garcia said.

"I want to have a scholarship program where a family that is suffering – for job loss, illness, etc. – and cannot pay their rent, get help to stay at home."

The candidate says that her parents, Guillermina and Miguel García, have been her role model. / photo: supplied.

He said that unfortunately at present the construction of houses is only focused on families that earn a lot or for the needy but are forgetting the families of the lower-middle class.

In District 14, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 68.2% of residents are Latino; 12.86% white; 12.79% Asians; 5.84% African Americans.

Of this population, 38% were born outside the United States and 14% have limited English proficiency.

In the field of helplessness, Garcia said it is an issue that should be addressed immediately and that she has not seen the urgency in the current government.

"If the Olympic games arrived next year I think we would do something different (and soon) … My mom taught me to clean the house every day and not just when there is a visit," said Garcia referring to addressing this issue as soon as possible. possible.

"As the Olympics arrive until 2028 we are fine, but if they arrived tomorrow, what would we do?"

Determined to serve full time

Garcia said that if elected, he plans to stay the entire term and not use it as a ladder to another political office.

With this, his rival said in the contest – the candidate Kevin de León, who has said he wants to be a councilor and then look for the City Hall of Los Angeles in 2022.

“I want to be known as a leader, someone who listens to the people, who represents values ​​to the community, who works,” said Garcia. "My style of service is not to plan my next job."

"And he has the right to be a representative but I believe that if he has received strong support from institutions, it is because he has more experience in political negotiation but I believe that my strength is the negotiation of matters in people's lives."


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