LA Mayor helped push Prop 30 to help California’s schools and colleges; says ‘we’ve got to get behind the reform effort’
About Antonio Villaraigosa
Antonio R. Villaraigosa is the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles. He was first sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2005. His second term began on July 1, 2009.
He is currently President of the US Conference of Mayors. Leading the nation’s mayors, Villaraigosa has advocated for innovative public policy reforms to create jobs, improve the country’s public schools, and expand investment in America’s transportation infrastructure.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa has pursued an agenda of making Los Angeles the safest big city in America, building a 21st century transportation system, achieving fundamental and far-reaching education reform, spurring economic development by eliminating government red tape and streamlining the City bureaucracy, and making Los Angeles a national model of sustainability and green growth. Since 2005, the number of LAUSD schools meeting California’s Academic Performance goal has doubled. There has been a 100% increase in the number of charter schools, and nearly 100 low performing schools have undergone innovative transformations, with leadership dedicated to improving student learning. He founded the Partnership, one of the largest school turnaround organizations in the country, to improve student learning at low performing schools and pilot innovations that can be replicated throughout the District.
Before being elected as Mayor, Villaraigosa served on the Los Angeles City Council and in the California State Assembly. In the latter, he spearheaded a $9.1 billion initiative to rebuild and modernize California schools, led a $2.1 billion initiative to provide parks and open space throughout the state, funded an extensive expansion of water quality enforcement by the state, and authored the state health insurance program, Healthy Families.
After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Villaraigosa attended UCLA, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He went on to attend the People’s College of Law, a night school dedicated to public-interest law. By the age of 25, Villaraigosa was elected President of a local union representing civil rights workers and lawyers in six states. Over the next 15 years, he worked as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and then as President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.
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Los Angeles mayor on education reform: ‘There’s a real urgency’ to improve school quality