Voters approve all but one of the current LACCD board members.
By Cassandra Nava, Managing Editor
Sole Measure LA opponent voted out of the Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees as all other incumbents remain seated.
In last week’s midterm election, incumbent board of trustee member Eric Moreno lost seat four to Sara Hernandez, who took 53.94 percent of the votes. The newly elected trustee teaches constitutional law at Valley College for a non-credit paralegal program and is a land-use and environmental attorney. Her main clients are affordable housing developers, and she plans to utilize that knowledge at the board level. All of the board members publicly endorsed Hernandez.
Despite Moreno’s 50 year career with the LACCD, his tendency to swim against the tide could have factored into his recent loss. In a board meeting earlier this summer, he was the sole vote against sending Measure LA to the ballot, despite other members’ enthusiasm.
"Moreno lost,” said Valley political science professor Anthony O’Reagan. “You know, he's a Republican… though these are not ostensibly partisan races. I mean, the Board of Trustees in Los Angeles is a very blue city. And I think that was always going to be hard for him. And plus, he was somewhat of a controversial figure."
Moreno openly aired his grievances with the district, stating that Measure LA’s $5.3 billion price tag was an irresponsible amount to ask of taxpayers. He also feared that renovating campuses despite low enrollments would create “ghost towns.”
“But [enrollment] shouldn't be used as a reason to not invest in education,” said Hernandez in response to Moreno’s statements, in an interview with the Star. “If we don't have proper wifi, updates to our buildings — the types of improvements we need to offer world class education — it doesn't necessarily hurt the district per se, it hurts our communities. So I would challenge anyone who points to enrollment as to why we shouldn't invest in students.”
Although the national turnout for last week’s midterm election was uncharacteristically high, a little less than two million Angelenos cast ballots, of the total five million eligible voters.
Seat two saw the incumbent Steven Veres running against Jason R. Aula and Glenn Trujillo Bailey. Veres won with 66.09 percent of the votes.
In seat six, incumbent Gabriel Buelna defeated Robert L. Payne with a voter percentage of 72.62.
Seat seven was a special election; it ran for an abnormal two years despite the board’s typical four year term, due to a vacancy in the seat earlier this year. Kelsey Iino, the incumbent that has held the position for seven months, defeated Nancy Pearlman and Mark Dutton with 61.24 percent.
Angelenos approved the LACCD’s fourth and largest bond measure with 61.43 percent saying “yes” on the ballot. The district will start taxing property owners following the certification of the measure from the LA County Registrar next month.