While I don’t have children in my own home yet, I feel deep love, hope and responsibility for the 600,000 children in the Los Angeles Unified School District where I grew up and was a middle school teacher working alongside my fellow educators for nearly 15 years. The motto and mission of La Comadre resonates with my life’s purpose: we are here for each other and believe in the necessity of quality public education. Our collective strength today propels our children to lead us into tomorrow. This is exactly why I’m running for School Board in LA Unified’s District 7, and why I’m so grateful to have earned La Comadre’s endorsement.
I was raised in Lomita/Harbor City by a single mom who immigrated as a child from Chihuahua, Mexico because my abuelo believed in the educational and economic opportunities in the United States. I was the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, and law degree. I am the legacy of Gualberto and Eva Ortiz, and their daughter Silvia. Every day, that makes me determined to ensure every student in LAUSD has the opportunity to thrive at the college of their choice, and choose a career path that will honor the sacrifices made by their ancestors.
We are six months into shelter-in-place from a global pandemic that has made it even harder for many families — especially Latinx, Black and low-income families who are bearing the disproportionate weight of unemployment, racism, housing instability and inadequate health care — to get by day-to-day, much less plan for the footprint they’ll leave to the next generation. This is why our elected officials must prioritize our highest-need communities, and why we must promote an educated vote at every level of government.
LA Unified’s District 7 includes the vastly diverse neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, Florence, Watts, Gardena, Carson, Harbor City, Lomita, Wilmington, San Pedro and parts of Torrance. For the last 20 years, our district has been represented by white men from San Pedro, the wealthiest and whitest part of our district. Come November 3rd, voters will have a chance to elect a Latina to the seat — both final candidates are Latina — but will have to choose the best person for our children and our legacy. I know that person is me, Tanya Ortiz Franklin.
I’m the only candidate who has dedicated my entire 15 year career to serving students and families through public education, and will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of this race. As a middle school teacher in Carson, a special education lawyer across the district, and a teacher-educator and advocate in South LA and Watts, I have always prioritized our most historically neglected communities in LA Unified. From restorative justice and high-quality instruction to fair funding and community engagement, I have led the implementation of some of the most important issues facing our community. Every day I commit myself to listening, learning and leading alongside our comadres, parents, educators, and students until every student graduates fully prepared to thrive in college, career, and life.
I invite you to learn more about our campaign at www.tanyaforlausd.com and on social media @tanyaforlausd. I welcome your ideas, questions, and partnership as we all work towards a more equitable education system deserving of all our children, our leaders of the next generation’s legacy.