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GRACIELA ORTIZ ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR LAUSD BOARD

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 14, 2023) — In a passionate call to action today, Huntington Park Councilwoman and dedicated LAUSD educator Graciela Ortiz proudly announced her candidacy for LAUSD Board District 5's forthcoming school board election. With deep-rooted connections to the very heart of the community, Ortiz is committing herself tirelessly to ensure that not just the school system, but the very future of our children and communities, comes out victorious in this election.


Emanating a profound understanding of the diverse cultures and challenges faced by Board District 5 – which encapsulates vibrant neighborhoods from Silver Lake, Eagle Rock to Maywood and Huntington Park – Ortiz is poised to represent one of the most underserved Latino districts in LAUSD with an authentic voice and unwavering dedication.


Speaking with conviction, Ortiz declared, "The next chapter for LAUSD requires a visionary who can rally and unify fellow elected officials, ensuring that our children always remain front and center. But beyond that, it demands someone with firsthand experience inside our schools. Far too often, we see seats filled by those detached from the realities our students encounter daily. As both an educator within LAUSD and its proud product, I've experienced the district's strengths and its needs. This is why I know, with every fiber of my being, that I am the most suited to champion our kids' dreams from that board seat.”


This campaign isn't just about a seat; it's about the future of every student, every educator, and every community member that calls School Board District 5 home. Graciela Ortiz, with her profound insights and relentless spirit, is ready to lead, to serve, and to make a lasting difference.


In a remarkably crowded field of 10 contenders, Graciela Ortiz emerged as a leading figure in the 2019 special election for the vacant LAUSD Board District 5 seat, previously held by Refugio "Ref" Rodriguez. On the primary election night, initial tallies placed Ortiz on a promising trajectory to the general election. However, as the remaining primary votes trickled in over subsequent days, she narrowly missed the mark, falling short by a mere 31 votes; but vows that it will not happen again and will be victorious this time around.


Graciela Ortiz’s Biography


Graciela Ortiz was born and raised in Huntington Park as the youngest of four siblings. Her father died when she was only six months old, so her mother raised her on her own. From a young age, Graciela took her education seriously. She began her educational career at Miles Avenue Elementary, proceeded to Gage Middle School, and graduated from Huntington Park High School in 1999 with high academic honors.


Immediately after graduating from high school, Graciela attended her dream college, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). One of her greatest accomplishments at UCLA was establishing a chapter of Hermanas Unidas, which focuses on retention and empowerment of women at the university in order to ensure graduation. Being a founding mother of Hermanas Unidas allowed Graciela to learn outstanding leadership skills that have proved useful throughout her career. Upon graduating from UCLA, she decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), which she earned from California State University, Long Beach in 2006. She also obtained her Pupil Personnel Services and Child Welfare and Attendance Credentials. In October of 2016, Graciela became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University,Fullerton.

Graciela always knew that her passion was in helping children and being their advocate. She became a Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor at LAUSD upon receiving her master’s degree. She served as a PSA Counselor at Banning High School, Peary Middle School, a Lead District Counselor, and for seven years she worked in the Huntington Park community at Linda Esperanza Marquez High School. Although she focuses on students that have attendance problems, she works with all students, helping families break down the barriers that are impeding their children from being successful. She advocates and provides resources to students on juvenile probation, in foster care, and for those who are homeless. Her experience working with children allows her to see issues from various perspectives and from a holistic point of view that now helps her problem solve and understand community issues as a Councilmember.


Graciela Ortiz was elected to serve on Huntington Park’s City Council in March 2015 and was re-elected in March of 2020. She served as Mayor of Huntington Park from March 1, 2016 to March 28, 2017 and from March 2021 toJune 2022. She currently represents Huntington Park on the HUB Cities Consortium Board where she was the Board Chair for two years. Throughout her 16 years with the district, she was been an active UTLA member and served on the UTLA-PACE Committee member since 2012. She is now an Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) member.


Graciela Ortiz strives to build communities through education. She strongly believes that if our school system and communities work in collaboration, our society will strengthen and in turn improve the quality of life for all. As a Councilmember, Graciela has collaborated with all schools in the city to provide resources, opportunities and programs that will enhance the education of all children. Graciela knows that a child’s education is the key to their success and the success of all our communities.


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