It takes a special human being to embrace a public life heightened by the usual systematic corruption that lingers traditionally within political circles. Civil servants representing the 58th District in the California State Assembly and the 32nd District in the California State Senate have both fallen into the muck, and Karla V. Salazar believes she has the leadership skills and love for the district to steer the region’s needs onto a rightful course.
As a naturalized first generation American citizen, who came to California from Nicaragua as a young girl, Karla has always viewed serving all the different ethnic groups that together compile her local United States of America as an opportunity to give back to our great nation. Karla has practiced this value of appreciating diversity over and over within the last two decades, serving in leadership roles with local and state government, the Federal Reserve, and supporting numerous nonprofit groups. She also has the academic chops to tackle a variety of current social and political issues without alienating diverse groups. Karla earned her B.A. in political science with an emphasis on international relations, specializing in Chicana and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and she has an M.A. in public policy from Claremont Graduate University. She also has completed an executive management certificate program at UCLA’s John E. Anderson’s Graduate School of Management.
Karla founded SOS Strategies, her consulting practice, with the belief that practical innovation inspires action and promotes transformative change for the advancement of all communities. SOS Strategies partners with foundations and nonprofit organizations throughout Southern California. Karla also teaches nonprofit management at UCLA Extension.
Karla has chosen to run for public office representing the 58th District in the California State Assembly. The 58th Assembly District includes the Los Angeles County cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos, and Artesia. She is a 16-year homeowner resident of Downey and her family lives in nearby Bellflower. Karla’s 13-year old son attends a local public school in the ABC Unified School District.
The 58th district is an entrepreneurial region. It is driven by industrious working families all seeking a safe community, functional public schools, livable wage jobs, and affordable housing surrounded by green spaces. Karla is convinced her two decades of leadership experience in the private and public sectors advocating for quality of life issues in the 58th district can be achieved through practical innovational processes and a continuous understanding of the growing needs of the community. She wants to utilize her parenting experience to protect families in the community, advocate for women’s rights, protect immigrant families, and stimulate a diverse and sustainable business growth. Karla also wants to protect this region from urban pollution and the crime that follows it. She also seeks to reverse the negative press plaguing this area from all the accusations of mismanagement and corruption within the Montebello Unified School District to the serious charges against former State Senator Tony Mendoza and Assemblymember Cristina Garcia.
“At this point the 58th District has no representation in the Senate or the Assembly [these districts overlap],” stated Karla. “And that is a grave concern to me and all the taxpaying citizens depending on their voices being heard and represented in Sacramento.”
As a fluent bilingual leader, Karla V. Salazar is a citizen of the world. Her two decades of professional management experience in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors have given her a diverse experience with executives in the multidisciplinary finance, operations, and public affairs departments.
When it comes to K-12 education, Karla was fortunate to spend her childhood surrounded by educators in her family. This emotional and academic support enabled her to learn English quickly in elementary school and transition into the school system here in the U.S. She believes that with proper instruction and support, English language learners can experience similar success.
“We have to really focus on the basics,” Karla said. “Let’s just look at math and English. There are six different school districts in the 58th Assembly District, and half of those districts are graduating children below state scholastic averages, and this is not acceptable when we need our children to be on a path toward higher education and/or vocational careers. We cannot continue failing our children.”
Karla believes that both traditional and public charter schools can provide quality options for educating students in the 58th Assembly district, and she hopes that any school that accepts public funds is held accountable for providing an education that allows children to advance and be competitive in society. She also favors giving school districts more discretion about how to spend funds, but with an understanding that the state will hold those districts accountable.
Empowerment, impact, and the art of influencing individuals and organizations toward a common good are Karla’s guiding principles. To learn more about her candidacy, click here.
She has worked in the non-profit sector, in the K-12 system, and in higher education in various capacities. When she's not writing stories or working on media projects, Adriana trains instructors to teach online at the University of California, Irvine.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Irvine and a master’s degree in public policy from Claremont Graduate University.
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