D — Candidate for State Assembly, 39th District
Luz Rivas, a Democrat, is running in a special election for an open seat in the California State Assembly representing the 39th District, which covers part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. The district includes San Fernando and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga and Sylmar. The seat is available because Raul Bocanegra resigned due to sexual misconduct.
Luz grew up in the San Fernando Valley raised by a single mother andbecame interested in technology and engineering when her 5th grade teacher taught her class how to program an aging Apple IIe. That interest led her to MIT, where she graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After working as an engineer for Motorola, Luz refocused her career on education and public service andearned a Master of Education from Harvard. In 2012, she founded a nonprofit, DIY Girls, which encourages girls to become interested in science and technology. The program serves girls in grades 4-12, helping them develop skills and capabilities as engineers and designers. Most recently, Luz was appointed to the Los Angeles Public Works Commission, where she has worked to recruit more female engineers. She has served on the board of the California Girls in STEM Collaborative asa Senior Fellow at the USC Marshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and the Visiting Committee for the M.I.T Dean of Undergraduate Education.
As a legislator, Luz will be a powerful advocate for education and fiscal responsibility. She understands the importance of controlling budget problems to protect core services, especially in city government and schools. A strong supporter of charter schools, Luz’s Education degree and experience running an education nonprofit has made her very focused on making sure every student in California receives a high quality education that includes modern instruction in STEM subjects. Luz is a strong supporter of charter schools. Her experience in Los Angeles City Government will be helpful in handling housing and infrastructure issues. Luz is committed to reforming Medi-Cal to control cost growth, reduce ER use, and ensure recipients have access to high quality preventative care, and herwide range of professional experience and excellent temperament will make her an effective legislator.
Party Registration in AD39 is 52.6% Democratic, 14.8% Republican and 27.6% Decline To State, a safe Democratic seat with a large Latino population that is a good fit for a Latina like Luz with deep ties to the district. Luz faces two series opponents in this race, Antonio Sanchez and Patty Lopez. Patty Lopez previously held this seat but is inconsistent and recently made favorable comments about President Trump, which is likely enough to ensure she doesn’t make the runoff. In the runoff Luz will probably face Antonio Sanchez, a political director for a labor union . Luz should prevail due to her stronger local endorsements and voter desire to elect a female after the misbehavior of their previous male legislator.