UCLA Advocate in Action: Kevin de León looks to stop inequities through higher education

California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León takes a call at his Silverlake district office from former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León doesn’t want his personal story of success to be an outlier. He doesn’t want the story of the youngest child to an immigrant mother who was the first and only child in his family to graduate high school and go to college, to be an inspirational calling card. Instead, de León dreams of a future full of people from his community accomplishing what he has — making it the norm.

De León recognizes that in order to make his story obsolete, it will take the hard work of the people of California and the legislation that represents them — a legislation that needs to support the higher education institutions of California.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell Seeks To Strengthen Education Bonds

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell addresses a number of students, alumni and faculty during a lunch on Oct. 5.

Meeting with a group of UCLA students, advocates, alumni and faculty, 70th District California Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell commended higher education and recognized the importance it can play regarding his most important concern: underserved K-12 students.

Before the Oct. 5 lunch, O’Donnell met with UCLA Bruin Resource Center Director Paolo Velasco to discuss the UCLA Guardian Scholars Program and it reach within the Greater Los Angeles community. O’Donnell, who has been a teacher in Long Beach for 20 years, has always been interested in helping foster youth — especially those transitioning out of the system. The Guardian Scholars Program works directly with former foster youth attending UCLA.

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UCLA Volunteer Day In Pictures

Actor Jonathan Bennett leads Second Street Elementary School students in a stretching game during UCLA Volunteer Day.

More than 5,500 volunteers converged on 48 different community sites on Sept. 26 for the Seventh Annual UCLA Volunteer Day.

Volunteers made up primarily of incoming freshman and transfer students, along with alumni and community members, spent the day improving a number of community sites by teaching children, painting murals and finishing beautification projects.

Among the volunteers were a number of elected officials, who offered to help in their own districts, as Volunteer Day spread throughout Los Angeles County. Chancellor Gene Block also made an appearance at several sites. Here is some of what took place in pictures:

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UCLA Panel Seeks Solutions For Ending Homelessness

NBC4 anchor Conan Nolan moderates a panel between 14th District City Councilman José Huizar and Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell.

To end homelessness in Los Angeles, it will take a host of community partnerships and a holistic approach, city and county officials said during a panel hosted by UCLA.

“It’s affecting everyone now,” said 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, when asked about why homelessness has just now been declared an emergency crisis situation. “There are encampments in areas where we’d never expect them.”

On Thursday, Oct. 8, NBC4 anchor Conan Nolan moderated a special panel featuring Huizar and Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell at Deaton Auditorium at LAPD headquarters, part of UCLA Day in Downtown LA.

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Los Angeles Lawmakers Welcome UCLA Advocacy Partners

UCLA advocates meet with Fourth District City Councilman David Ryu for UCLA Day in Downtown LA.

The journey for some UCLA advocates on Oct. 8 started as early as 9 a.m., meeting with City Council President Herb Wesson in his district office.

That meeting would set the stage for more than a dozen others at City Hall and the Hall of Administration later in the day for a 60-plus delegation of UCLA students, alumni, faculty, and staff, part of the annual UCLA Day in Downtown LA, an annual event.

In addition to reminding local elected officials of the number of alumni, staff, retirees, and students who live and contribute to the local economies in their districts, as well as the many UCLA programs that make an impact in their regions, this year’s meetings focused on addressing homelessness in Los Angeles.

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UCLA delegates head downtown to highlight many ways campus serves L.A.

UCLA Day in Downtown LA is an opportunity for UCLA faculty, staff, students and supporters to inform local elected representatives and city and county officials about the many ways UCLA serves the community.

A UCLA delegation made up of more than 50 alumni, students, staff, community leaders and other friends will meet with members of the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Thursday to remind them of the tremendous impact UCLA has in the region.

“From the hundreds of community programs UCLA runs to the policy research done by its faculty, the services that the university provides are of critical benefit to the community,” said Chancellor Gene Block. “UCLA Day in Downtown LA is a chance for UCLA ambassadors to give local officials a firsthand account of the many ways the university serves Los Angeles.” 

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