Elected Officials Academy 2.0: A Game Changer

Making Sure Our Communities Are Included

By: Lisa Baca

Academy 2.0 Group
Academy 2.0 class 1 participants with trainer, Dr. Laree Kiely‎ (seated front row center), who reminded us Albert Einstein said, “no problem can be solved at the level it is occurring.”

The California Latino Leadership Institute in partnership with the Southern California Latino Policy Center presented the Southern California Elected Officials Training Academy 2.0 in Downey, California October 9-11, 2015. Thirty municipal elected, appointed and community leaders participated. Here are a few Academy participant insights.

Mickie Solorio Luna, Hollister Councilwoman, worked for the finance department for the city for 30 years, before retiring eight years ago and running for Council District 2 in 2014.

Marta Segura, Appointed in 2013 as a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles.

Miguel Segura, currently a Legislative Field Representative and a member of the City of Los Angeles Westlake North Neighborhood Council.

‎Dr. David Hayes-Bautista presents The California History Project: highlighting Cinco De Mayo and the many contributions made by Latinos to California’s rich and diverse history.

Q1 What are two things that you took away that were valuable for you?

Marta Segura: “One thing was readiness, to be ready for the future, and to thrive in chaos, so that you can be a great leader that does not respond to the distractions, but to the vision. Inclusiveness, I loved the examples on “widening the circle,” and making sure to include all stakeholders. If we exclude, we don’t really create change, if we include, everyone changes.”

Mickie Solorio Luna: “The Brown Act presentation by Attorney Ruben Duran and the valuable presentation of Dr. Laree Kiely on how to handle situations without compromising.”

Miguel: “The tip about empowering and the discovery of power. I have chosen to no longer use the phase empower people. I will help people DISCOVER their power, because we as human beings are all powerful we just need to learn how to help others discover that power within ourselves.

Hollister Council Member, Mickie Solorio Luna, the youngest of 12 children who worked in every farm worker labor camp in the Central Valley, addresses the Academy ‎participants on leadership for young Latinos: “We need to educate our young people.”

Q2 What are the biggest challenges facing local Latino policymakers/leaders at the local level?

Miguel Segura: “Bureaucracy. We are living in a place where elected officials are scared to speak up. Elected officials are scared to be against money/power, because that money is what funds their campaigns.”

Marta Segura: “It is possible to lead with integrity and authenticity, based on your moral compass and core values. “

Mickie Solorio: “Issues that impact our communities, how to address them with knowledge and building trust with constituents.  Challenges may differ in communities but in the long run, our agendas are the same in wanting to solve issues and encouraging more Latinos to become involved in elected bodies of government.

The 2016 Elected Officials Academy 2.0 will be held in the Spring in the City of Long Beach. For more information please visit: www.calatinoleadershipinstitute.org.


Lisa-Baca-Sigala-2015Lisa Baca is the Executive Director of the California Latino Leadership Institute.