July 17, 2017
Numbers Demonstrate people-powered nature of Professor and Former School Board Member’s campaign
LOS ANGELES, CA- In another indication of his formidability, today local professor and former School Board Member David Vela’s campaign announced that he had raised $105,529 in his race for Assembly District 51. Notably, he had over $100,000 cash-on-hand – a feat that is seen by many as a signal of viability for any campaign.
Following the announcement, Vela released a statement that reflected:
“I’m tremendously honored and appreciative to be backed by countless passionate grassroots activists in our community-based campaign. These critical funds will enable us to spread our message in the 51st District, centered on social and economic justice for all. We’ll fight for healthcare for all, livable wages, a clean environment, and equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of their immigration status.”
A native Angeleno and a proud product of the Montebello Unified School District, Vela previously was elected and served on the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education which encompasses part of AD51, including as the governing body’s president. Currently he works as Senior Vice President at the Lee Andrews Group, a minority and women owned Public Outreach firm in Downtown Los Angeles and as a Professor at East Los Angeles College. He is also the founder of HONOR PAC, a political action committee that focuses on electing LGBT candidates statewide.
Prior to his current role, Vela served as Senior Legislative Assistant to former State Assembly Member Jackie Goldberg, handling Labor, Transportation and Economic Development. Under Governor Gray Davis, he was Senior Advisor to the Employment Development Department. Velaalso spent 10 years as a Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, where he oversaw two billion dollars in capital infrastructure improvements in Unincorporated East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. These projects included the East Los Angeles Civic Center, the Eastside Gold Line and the Whittier Boulevard Streetscape project.
While on the Board of Education, Vela created a perfect attendance program which improved the District’s Average Daily Attendance to over 96%. He also implemented an aggressive anti-bullying program focusing on LGBT students, contributed to increased API and AYP scores as well as a 94% district graduation rate. Additionally, Vela fought to provide livable wages for school employees and passed a Project Labor Agreement, ensuring local hire ordinances and good wages and benefits for workers.
He was born to a single mother and raised in the district. Vela’s family settled in Lincoln Heights from Del Rio, Texas, where his grandmother rented a two bedroom apartment on Baldwin Street. His mother attended Lincoln Heights High School. David was born in Boyle Heights at White Memorial Hospital and was raised part-time by his grandmother in East Los Angeles Unincorporated while attending Montebello Unified Schools. Vela also previously served as Vice President of the East LA Democratic Club and served many years as a Board Member of East Los Angeles Community Youth Center. He received his Bachelors of Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy with concentrations in Economics and International Relations from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.