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Los Angeles County, CA November 5, 2013 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Claudia Vizcarra

Candidate for
Governing Board Member; Culver City Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate

I grew up in Mexico City learning English in a K-12 immersion school. At 18 I received a scholarship to attend Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. I graduated cum laude in May of I984 earning a B.A. in Journalism, Broadcasting and Film as well as a B.A. in Sociology, a minor in French and a concentration in Latin American Affairs.

In 1985 I moved to Los Angeles, where I became an entrepreneur launching a successful Hispanic marketing agency, Comadre Demos, which offered field promotional services to national clients. After serving on the Board of the Women's Coalition Economic Development, I became interested in sharing my experience with other women.

I moved to San Francisco where I started ALAS, a program of the Women's Initiative for Self Employment that provided workshops and training to monolingual immigrant Latinas. During this time I joined Just Economics, a collective of women who traveled around the country offering workshops to community and labor groups about the economy and economic policy. I also worked for non profits in the field of community economic development: EPA CAN DO in East Palo Alto and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation in Oakland.

In 1996 I relocated to Los Angeles where I became Economic Development Deputy for LA City Council Member Jackie Goldberg, working on a wide variety of initiatives throughout the 13th District. I held this post until she was elected to the California State Assembly. When my son was born, I decided to start my home-based translations and interpreting business. I also became a parent leader at my daughter's school (Edison Language Academy), first as ELAC President, then PTA Vice President and eventually President. During those years I was known as a bridge builder between different parent groups as I organized many school events including Dia de Muertos and César Chávez Day.

In 2004 I joined the staff at UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access, and worked with parents and students preparing the Justice School Report Card and facilitating workshops with parents and community groups to help them advocate for improved learning conditions in their schools. I became the editor of the Education News Roundup, a daily electronic compendium of education policy news designed for advocates across the state. In 2009, I joined the staff of LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer as his Policy Director. After his re-election in 2013, I became his Chief of Staff.

In my current capacity, I engage daily with parents, community groups and district staff developing policies that ensure schools are safe and enriching places for students to learn and grow.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: November 4, 2013 09:30
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