President’s Blog – April 2015

Luis AWhat You Signed Up For

As you well know there are many challenges we face as elected officials. There are many issues our communities are facing with a debilitating economy and infrastructure, the most severe drought we’ve had in California in a long time among other things. However, I want to take this opportunity to thank your for your service!!

You have made a courageous decision to pursue this kind of public service and you should be commended – you should be proud of yourselves. I want to particularly congratulate all the newly elected officials, those who have just joined our ranks. You will never work as hard and receive less compensation in return for those efforts but you have been awarded an amazing opportunity to lead and serve and you will probably spend the rest of your political career trying to balance those two. Leadership is more than “being the boss.” It means using your vision to guide your community towards success – hopefully towards a better life for their families. And it means serving – listening, researching, working hard to become a better policymaker – a better leader. This is probably the only job that provides such little preparation yet has such incredible demands.

My colleagues and I created the Southern California Latino Policy Center to prepare and help educate leaders like you, who want to learn and do a better job in improving each of their communities and the service to their constituents. We want to learn how to be more effective policymakers – more effective leaders.

Our monthly newsletter, the first edition, represents that effort. This year we’ll launch a couple of other projects designed to help all of you. We are creating Tip Sheets – simple background “guides” to help you understand and steer through some typical policy challenges. We are also proud to announce our Summer 2015 Latino Policy Forum, scheduled for June 6 at Cal State LA. This year we’re focusing on technology and how we can use it as a policymaking tool for our school districts, cities and community colleges. More information about this event and the organization can be found on this website.

Our Summer 2015 Latino Policy Forum, like all of our events and tools, will be free to all Latino elected officials. We encourage you to attend and invite other elected officials! We know most of you are part-time policymakers with full-time jobs and other commitments. We understand your time is challenged so we design our events and tools to make the most of your time.

On behalf of our organization’s Board of Directors and our members, thank you for your service.

Luis Ayala
Board President, Southern California Latino Policy Center
Vice Mayor, City of Alhambra