Member, Board of Trustees, Seat 6 —Los Angeles Community College DistrictMarch 7, 2017 —Local Elections
Los Angeles Community College DistrictMember, Board of Trustees, Seat 6
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About this office
- Reduce time to Transfer to CSU or UC
- Increase opportunities for students to receive training for immediate employment
- Increase fiscal accountability regarding bonds and budget
Dr. Gabriel Buelna is an 18-year member of the faculty at the California State University at Northridge (CSUN). He is currently an adjunct professor, lecturing in history and political science. A pioneer in the fast-growing field of on-line instruction, Dr. Buelna has been tasked by the University with mentoring new faculty members as they develop and teach online courses.
Thousands of LACCD students transfer to the CSU system every year. So Buelna is very familiar with the range of students graduating from the District. He knows first-hand their level of preparation, and the challenges they face at the university level.
Proven Leader in Non-profit Management
For the last decade, Dr. Buelna has been the Executive Director of Plaza Community Services, one of Los Angeles’ oldest and most respected non-profit agencies. Plaza serves hundreds of families and children in East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and the downtown Los Angeles area. Founded in 1905, Plaza has grown to include four child care sites, domestic violence counseling and the Fathers in the Classroom program. Under Dr. Buelna’s leadership, Plaza’s programs and funding have grown fivefold. Today he oversees an annual budget of $11.5 million, and a staff of more than 100 employees.
Prior to taking the helm at Plaza, Buelna held a similar position at Dolores Mission in Los Angeles, where he was Executive Director of Proyecto Pastoral. He worked with Father Greg Boyle and others to provide a wide range of community programs – from after-school education to homeless services.
Dr. Buelna was also a Sr. Project Consultant with USC’s Doheny Eye Institute. He served for five years as director of outreach for two long-running federally-funded eye studies in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.
Educational Role Model for Minority Students
Gabriel Buelna grew up in South Los Angeles, the son of Mexican immigrants. His parents worked hard, sent their kids to parochial schools, and studied English at West L.A. Community College – eventually becoming U.S. citizens.
Like many LACCD students today, Gabriel was not a star student in high school. So, when he wanted to go to college, his grades were a problem. Fortunately, he was able to take some classes through West L.A. Community College and improve his transcript enough to be accepted at CSU Northridge.
That was a turning point in Gabriel’s life. He thrived at CSUN, and met his future wife! After graduation, he went on to San Diego State University for his Masters Degree in Social work, and then to Claremont Graduate School where he earned his PhD in Political Science.
Long History of Civic and Community Leadership
In addition to his teaching and management obligations, Dr. Buelna volunteers his time to serve the Los Angeles community in many other ways. He was a co-founder of the Los Angeles County Child Welfare Coalition, served on the Human Relations Commission for the City of Los Angeles, has been a board member for Sacred Heart High School, and is an Advisory Board Member for the Miguel Contreras Foundation. Buelna is also a member of the National Association of Social Work and Rotary International.
Devoted Husband and Father
Pilar and Gabriel Buelna met during their student days at CSUN. They married in 1993, and have three daughters: Paulina (14) and Gema (15) are students at Sacred Heart H.S. Gabriela (18) is a freshman at UC Riverside. The family resides in the Mt. Washington neighborhood.
Pilar Buelna is Director of Social Services for the Salvation Southern California Division, where she oversees services that address homelessness, addiction, mental health, and early education. She holds a Master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University and was recently appointed to the Cultural Heritage Commission for the City of Los Angeles.
- Councilmember Jose Huizar, 14th District
- Assembly Member Miguel Santiago
- Congressman Tony Cardenas
- California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson
- Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney
- State Senator Kevin de León
- Teamster 911
- HONOR PAC
- California Faculty Association, CSUN Chapter
- Southern California Armenian Democrats
- AVANCE L.A. Democratic Club
- UNITE HERE Local 11
- Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
- Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36 (AFL-CIO CLC)
- Laborers’ Local 300
- The Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP)
- Los Angeles Times
- General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights, and Diversity – Maria Elena Durazo
- Maintain the Los Angeles Community College District’s commitment to sustainability in its multi-billion dollar building projects.
- Ensure the continued accreditation of the nine colleges within the LACCD in order to continue to provide a quality education to the 250,000 full- and part-time students currently enrolled.
- Fight for fiscal accountability to stop wasteful spending of taxpayer money
- Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter
- National Womens Political Caucus
- American Federation of Teachers, Local 1521A
- Candidate Lisa Alva for Los Angeles Unified School District Board, District 2; High School Teacher
- Candidate Carl J. Petersen for Los Angeles Unified School District Board, District 2
- Candidate Gregory Martayan for Los Angeles Unified School District Board, District 4
- Candidate Caney Arnold, Los Angeles City Council, District 15; Harbor City Neighborhood Council Boardmember
- Candidate Karo Torossian for Los Angeles City Council, District 7
- Candidate Dallas Fowler, Seat 4, Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees
- Los Angeles City Councilperson Paul Koretz
- Hon. Mike Feinstein, California Green Party Representative and former Mayor of the City of Santa Monica
- Los Angeles City Councilperson Bob Blumenfield
- LACCD Trustee Sydney Kamlager-Dove
- LACCD Trustee Andra Hoffman
- Los Angeles City Councilperson Nury Martinez
- Los Angeles City Councilperson Mike Bonin
- California State Controller John Chiang
- California Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas
- Congressman Brad Sherman
- Hon. Robert Hertzberg, Former State Senator
- Hon. Kevin Mckeown, Santa Monica City Councilman and Former Mayor of the City of Santa Monica, Chair
- Gardena Valley Democratic Club
- Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley
- Los Angeles County Young Democrats
- West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club
- Stonewall Democratic Club
- The Democracy Project
- National Womens Political Caucus, Los Angeles County (NWPC)
- Team Earth Conservation
- Union Members for the Preservation of Wildlife
- Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
- Classified Managers Association
- LACCD Administrators Association represented by Teamsters #911
- Sprinkler Fitters # 709
- East Area Los Angeles Progressive Democrats
- International Union of Operating Engineers Local #12
- Plumbers Local Union #78
- SEIU #99
- Americans for Democratic Action, Southern California
- Sierra Club Angeles Chapter
- American Federation of Teachers, College Staff Guild, Los Angeles, Local 1521A, AFL-CIO
- North Valley Democratic Club
- Former LACCD Trustee Mona Field
- Former LACCD Trustee and Former California Assemblyman Warren Furutani
- Former LAACD Student Trustee, LaMont G. Jackson
- Patricia Siever, Former Vice-President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors; Professor of History
- Joan Pelico, Chief of Staff, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz
- Victor Castellano, Labor Compliance Investigator, University of La Verne
- Jan B. Tucker, Co-President, San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter, National NAACP
- Jan B. Tucker, Chairman, Board of Directors, California Association of Licensed Investigators
As a lifelong environmentalist, feminist, and education advocate, I believe strongly in the rights of all people to a quality education.
Nancy Pearlman's Campaign Positions and Background for March 7, 2017 Re-election
On March 7, 2017, Nancy Pearlman will be running for her fifth term as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). As an environmentalist, anthropologist, educator, womens and social rights activist, humanitarian, and broadcaster, Nancy has dedicated her life to public service.
As the longest serving Trustee, Nancy has the most experience and history of any current trustee and is dedicated to the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). She has been with the LACCD first as a student in the 1960s, then as an instructor in the 1980s and 1990s, and since 2001, as a Trustee. She has won her election over four times with 61%, 62%, 63%, and 62% of the vote.
Her educational background includes from 1966-1969, Chapman University and its Semester at Sea program and Los Angeles City College. In 1971 she received a BA from UCLA in Anthropology and in 1979 a MA from Antioch University in Urban Studies and Planning with an Environmental Studies speciality. She has three teaching credentials: Secondary (middle and high school), adult education, and community college. Nancy has taught social studies, government, anthropology, and communications in the LACCD at Harbor, West, Valley, Trade, and Southwest Colleges as well as in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Universities, and private institutions.
As a trustee Nancy will continue her work to:
* Improve Student Success by providing strong academic support with mentoring and tutoring * Maintain fiscal accountability and reduce wasteful spending
* Continue the green and modern building/facilities programs
* Make campuses that are safe, ecological and sustainable in maintenance and operation
* Keep colleges accredited
When first elected in 2001, Nancy led the campaign to have the nation’s largest green public building program as the nine colleges renovated and built facilities to meet the educational master plans for the 21st century. A LEED certified and silver standard was adopted for over 250 building projects under a six billion (now nine billion) dollar bond program. She continues to make sure that the buildings will be ecological and functional for students, faculty, and staff.
Other concerns Nancy is focused on includes:
* making campuses secure and safe with strong security
* reducing and eliminating student fees (“tuition”) and reducing student loans
* ensuring that all colleges have full accreditation
* having special programs to assist veterans, disabled, low-performing, and first-time students * getting student passes for buses and the metro
* improving the scholarship offerings of the district and colleges foundations
Her educational experience in the District ensures that she is a strong spokesperson for student issues, for the needs of staff and faculty. She brings a special knowledge of Board programs and policies because she has served with many different trustees. With over 25 years being involved with the LACCD, she believes LACCD is the best in the nation. She is supportive of programs to get students to pass the necessary English and Math requirements to succeed at the college level. She supports four-year guaranteed transfer programs. She supports workforce development training certificate programs, especially in the culinary arts, auto repair, pre-vet, and construction courses. She is an advocate of the arts and is proud of the accomplishments of the theater and music academies. She voted for the BA program for dental technicians and nursing. And she wants to make sure that every academic department has the resources to provide a superb education.
Nancy has been active in the conservation/ecological/green movement for over 47 years and is the strongest environmentalist on the Board of Trustees. Nancy is focused on making the general operations and maintenance activities green and sustainable. She consistently advocates and leads the effort for a Board Sustainability Committee. In addition, she tries to increase the environmental studies curriculum in the academic program. Specifically, Nancy is:
* improving water and and energy conservation especially by increasing the number of solar
* trying to eliminate all toxic cleaners and pesticides and other dangerous chemicals from
* removing non-native grasses and plantings and planting native vegetation * having effective recycling programs at all colleges
* purchasing recycled products such as paper and restroom supplies
Nancy is the only trustee on the Board that has visited the LACCD’s Gold Creek Ecological Field Station in Little Tujunga in the San Fernando Valley and advocates for funding for a full- time faculty coordinator and to improve the site with compost toilets, solar panels (for nighttime classes), and exotic weed removal. This gem of a natural area, over 240 acres, is unique and needs to be protected and preserved. She was also instrumental in having the LACCD joining the Southern California Marine Institute.
Encouraging diversity in both the faculty, staff, adminstration, and student bodies is important. As someone with a mixed heritage, she understands the needs of those with different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Having created over 2,000 radio and 600 television documentaries in 35 countries and having traveled to over 90 countries, she is understanding of various cultures.
Nancy is an asset to the LACCD and wishes to continue her many successes and to support the enriching educational resource of the community colleges for the over 34 cities served.