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As a father of five, I have personally seen what happens when the LAUSD's massive bureaucracy stands in the way of our students. In my case, the district made me fight for the services that my daughters' teachers agreed they required. I knew that my story was not unique and decided at that point that I needed to run for office so that I could push for change.

My political activism goes back to 1988 when I had just moved to Los Angeles from the suburbs of New York to attend Musician's Institute in Hollywood. I saw a flyer requesting help to defend against Operation Rescue's planned attempts to shut down facilities providing family planning services and volunteered. Before long I was spending my Saturday mornings escorting patients into their appointments with the Feminist Majority's Clinic Defense project.

Elections do have consequences and Bill Clinton's election to the White House brought the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. This ended Operation Rescue's activities in Los Angeles and gave me back my Saturday mornings. I settled into my life, got married, raised two children (Becca and Jessie), and bought a house in Van Nuys. Eventually I continued the education I had begun at New York's Pace University, getting a degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. I was living the American Dream.

This dream was enabled by hard work and a drive to improve myself. My first full time job was at J. B. Chemical Company, a small automotive care company in North Hollywood. I worked my way up from the factory floor to General Manager. After 15 years, I took a chance and left the security of this job to advance my career at Unified Dispatch, LLC, a startup company in Altadena. Shortly afterwards I was invited by Arecont Vision to manage their Operations Department as they progressed from development to production of high-definition security cameras. At the time I was hired, there was only one other employee. Eleven years later we have over 150 employees worldwide and manufacture our cameras in Glendale. I am currently their Director of Logistics.

Life does not always go the way we plan and in 2006 I found myself in the new role of single father. This was followed by the pleasant surprise of falling in love again (Sammy Hagar speaks the truth), moving to Northridge and marrying Nicole in a clandestine ceremony at Disneyland. As an added bonus, I became a father to Nicole's triplets, Sydney, Zoey and Morgan.

In addition to facing the usual challenges of blending two families, I also had to quickly learn what it is like to parent two daughters on the autism spectrum. Coming into the their lives midstream did give me the advantage of not being there when the experts detailed all the things that they would not be able to do because of their diagnosis. This "ignorance" allowed me to set fresh expectations for their progress and caused me to ask questions when I felt that their schools could be doing more to help them reach their potential.

When my questions remained unanswered and local school officials told me that District rules prohibited them from providing needed services I took my fight directly to LAUSD headquarters at 333 South Beaudry Avenue. As day two of a marathon negotiating session ended, I turned to my wife and said that "someone has to change this." My first run for public office was born.

In my first race I spent $0.69 for each of my 3,839 votes, the lowest cost per vote of any candidate in the 2015 citywide election. These votes helped push incumbent Tamar Galatzan into a runoff where she was eventually beaten by Scott Schmerelson. This year I am moving into District 2 so that I can take on Mónica Garca who, like Galatzan, is funded by the California Charter School Association. They both supported former Superintendent John Deasy's tenure with the District.

In addition to work, family responsibilities and activism, I have also played drums in several local bands. I love the adventure of a good thrill ride and can often be found with the family at an amusement park. My blogs have been published in the Patch, OpEdNews and K-12 News Network. My wife and I also foster for The Gentle Barn animal rescue. Life is busy, chaotic and satisfying.

Unlike others who have held a seat on the LAUSD school board, I do not see it as a stepping stone to higher political office. I have experienced the dysfunction of the district and know that the system needs to change. After speaking to other parents, teachers, classified staff and community members, I know that my feelings and experiences are not unique. My candidacy is about using my talents to find solutions.


www.changethelausd.com/

OpEdNews Member for 111 week(s) and 5 day(s)

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Los Angeles school board president charged with conspiracy for  political money laundering LAUSD Board Wednesday, September 20, 2017 (4 comments)     

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Rules? Where we're going we don't need"rules. The President of the largest publicly elected School Board in the country is hauled into court and his excuses should sound very familiar to those following charter schools.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, September 14, 2017 (1 comments)     

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It Is Not Enough to Claim Inclusion Mainstreaming of students with special education needs requires training, effort and a focus on student need.

LAUSD vs  Celerity On October 18,2016, the LAUSD School Board rejected the renewals of two Celerity ch Tuesday, September 12, 2017 (3 comments)     

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Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil: The Failures of Charter Accountability The country's second largest school district continues to be deaf, mute and blind to the flagrant failures of the charter industry it is supposed to oversee.

Image created from image crediting Monday, August 28, 2017 (1 comments)     

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Means, Motive, and Opportunity: Forcing a School Board to Act The evidence once again shows that a charter has still not complied with rules regarding enrollment. It is time for the public to take matters into their own hands and force the School Board to act.

Image created from image crediting Monday, August 21, 2017     

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The People's School Board? The courts have ruled that constituents have a right to petition their representatives through social media. Will this School Board comply?

SOLD! Wednesday, August 16, 2017     

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Sold to the Highest Bidder - The Charters Assume Control of the Second Largest School District With a School Board dominated by charter supporters, the needs of the Los Angeles Unified School District's students are unrepresented.

Cenk Uygur debates Ben Shapiro at Politicon Wednesday, August 9, 2017     

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Team Red vs. Team Blue - The Further Fragmentation of America Having separated ourselves by ideology in where we live, shop and obtain news, we cheer our teams on like we are at a sporting event.

Charter school students line up to enter the Ann Street School separate from their public school counterparts. Saturday, August 5, 2017 (5 comments)     

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Separate and Unequal: The NAACP Report on Public Education The NAACP backs up its call for a moratorium on charter schools with something often missing in today's political environment - facts.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, July 13, 2017 (8 comments)     

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Indivisible? Are we witnessing the failure of the American experiment or a continuation of the status quo?

Big Brother inc. Wednesday, July 5, 2017 (3 comments)     

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The Blackwhite World of Los Angeles Charter Schools An LA School Report article highlights the semantic somersaults used to distract attention away from documented wrongdoing.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, June 29, 2017 (1 comments)     

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Is the LAUSD Charter School Division Providing Any Oversight? As suggested by the NAACP, a moratorium on new charter schools needs to be followed until the enforcement of the law can be assured.

Image created from image crediting Monday, June 19, 2017 (3 comments)     

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A Charter School Violates Its Student's Privacy to Shame Parents Into Volunteering Alliance Charters makes an end-run against the rules prohibiting them from requiring volunteer hours and possibly breaks another law in the process.

LAUSD Public Comment GHCHS Enrollment Practices ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Friday, June 16, 2017     

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A School District Turns A Blind Eye as Charters Cherry-Pick Their Students Los Angeles Unified School District's Charter School Division's Director provides false information to school board during questioning as he claims proper oversight is provided.

Image created from image crediting Sunday, June 11, 2017 (2 comments)     

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Standing Up For Our Public Schools The charter industry is organized and prepared to flex its muscles to get its way. Where does that leave the students of public schools?

Image from Twitter User spsot Saturday, May 27, 2017 (25 comments)     

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The Conman-In-Chief and His Unshakable Fans Trump's cult-like following is undeterred as he stumbles through the early stages of his presidency, leaving chaos in his wake.

Image created from image crediting Monday, May 15, 2017     

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The Politics of Retribution: Charters Spend Millions Avoiding Accountability Los Angeles voters go to the polls tomorrow. The results will have national implications for education policy.

Pinocchio Monday, May 1, 2017 (2 comments)     

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Moving Past 100 Days: The Lies Continue Engaging in the lost art of fact checking for Trump's weekly address.

Image created from image crediting Friday, April 28, 2017 (1 comments)     

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The First 100 Days: Trump Builds His Wall Truth has been the victim as political discourse has shifted from competing ideologies to alternate versions of reality.

Image created from image crediting Wednesday, April 19, 2017     

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Stacking the Deck? Does Granada Hills Charter High School's Academic Decathlon winning streak have anything to do with their questionable enrollment policies?

Education is All Monday, April 17, 2017 (2 comments)     

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Above the Law? A charter school asks its supporters to oppose a measure requesting stronger accountability for the charter industry. What are they trying to hide?

Education Key Friday, April 14, 2017     

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A Tale of Two School Districts Successfully blocked by the Glendale Unified School District, a charter sets its sites on the "relative ease" of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

... Betsy DeVos - Caricature ...706 × 504 - 77k - jpg Thursday, March 30, 2017 (3 comments)     

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The Bipartisan Attack on Public Education If you are depending on the Democrats to stop the Trump/DeVos plans for privatization, you should probably take a closer look.

Image created from image crediting Sunday, March 12, 2017     

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Fighting Off a Prop-39 Parasite Celerity schools are under investigation by the FBI but the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is still offering them space on Arminta Street Elementary School's campus.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017     

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A Failing Charter Gets a Pass Ignoring the recommendations of the Charter School Division, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) renews the View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter Middle School

Education is All Monday, January 9, 2017     

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LAUSD Schools Face Bankruptcy While Charters Cheat on Admissions The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Charter School Division ignores the law that requires all students to have equal access to schools receiving public funding.

Testimony before the Office of the Independent Monitor, 11/16/16 ChangeTheLAUSD.co Friday, December 2, 2016 (1 comments)     

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A School District's Hostility Towards Special Education The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has been under the oversight of an Independent Monitor for 20 years. When will their attitude towards special education change?

education Tuesday, November 1, 2016 (4 comments)     

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The Fallacy of Charter School Oversight in L.A. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is silent after Granada Hills Charter High School admits to using funds owned by the student body for unauthorized purposes.

Did Monica Garcia Mislead the Rest of the LAUSD Board? Www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Sunday, October 23, 2016 (1 comments)     

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The Absurdity of Charter School Oversight in L.A. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board actually holds charters accountable for their actions and highlights just how rare these types of actions are.

Replace Insecure https://pixabay.com/get/eb30b70d2ef51c2ad65a5854e34d439ee776ffd41db6174296f7c17ea6_340.jpg Friday, October 14, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Why Was This Charter School Even Renewed? At the time of the renewal hearing, there were at least two outstanding Notices to Cure. Why was only one discussed by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board?

Image created from image crediting Friday, September 23, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Asleep at the Switch? A charter closes down just a month into the school year. How did the Los Angeles Unified School District's Charter School Division even allow them to open?

Replace Insecure https://thewire.k12newsnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2016/09/The-Unrepresented-273x300.jpg Tuesday, September 6, 2016     

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The Unrepresented Shouldn't every family in the Los Angeles Unified School District be able to hold a Board Member accountable for the schools that their children attend?

LAUSD Charters, Workplace Bullying, Teacher Jails, UTLA & Privatization Carl J. Pe Tuesday, August 16, 2016     

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A Charter Shell Game Can you keep focused as a charter tries to divert attention away from the actions of its Governing Board?

education Monday, August 8, 2016     

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-Adelante? Moving ahead without a plan will sometimes send you off of a cliff.

Image created from image crediting Wednesday, August 3, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Education for Sale: LAUSD Throws the Fight in Its Competition with Charters If the charter law was passed to improve education through competition, why isn't the Los Angeles Unified School District(LAUSD) School Board playing to win?

education Thursday, July 28, 2016     

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(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Opt-Out) Granada Hills Charter High School takes steps to comply with the law, but still refuses to respect the rights of parents to opt-out.

education Friday, July 15, 2016 (1 comments)     

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LAUSD Law Who is responsible when outside law firms use questionable and unethical practices in defending the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in court.

Jesse Williams' Speech (BET Awards 2016) Friday, July 8, 2016 (23 comments)     

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#BlackLivesMatter If you believe that "all lives matter", then you also need to demand answers to the questions asked by activists from the black community.

El Camino Real Charter High School Board Meeting Wednesday, June 29, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Drinking A Charter School's Kool-Aid A charter's management finds defenders even after a reporter finds evidence of financial improprieties.

Does Monica Garcia represent the California Charter School Association or the LAUS Saturday, June 25, 2016 (2 comments)     

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Putting Lipstick on the Prop 39 Pig Instead of looking for ways to eliminate co-locations, the Los Angeles Unified School District looks for ways to make them easier for charters.

education Monday, June 13, 2016 (1 comments)     

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The LAUSD Empire Strikes Back District appeals Court ruling that allowed parents of moderately to severely disabled children to challenge forced mainstreaming.

education Thursday, May 19, 2016     

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A Charter With Its Hand in the Cookie Jar? Keeping an eye on the money as a school takes a series of loans from an account meant to benefit student activities.

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_opednews_com_503224_hqdefault_166.gif Tuesday, May 17, 2016 (78 comments)     

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Education Should be Based on our Children's Needs The education our kids receive should be based on the child's needs, not the cheapest route for the District.

Image created from image crediting Thursday, May 5, 2016 (8 comments)     

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#?@$ Chi Minh Provides an Example of Censorship in Schools The fine line between protecting students and interfering with intellectual curiosity.

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_opednews_com_503224_hqdefault_506.gif Wednesday, April 27, 2016     

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Low Expectations and the Oversight of Charter Schools District schools are hurt when charters do not follow the rules. When will the LAUSD Board of Education insist on accountability?

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_opednews_com_503224_hqdefault_749.gif Monday, April 18, 2016     

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Do Not Try to Placate Us with Words, We Need Action It is not enough for the LAUSD Board to just recognize Autism Awareness Month, they need to take steps to better help this community.

education Tuesday, April 12, 2016     

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Send Your Child to a Charter, Sign Away Your Parental Rights? While charters were supposed to give parents more say in their children's education, this choice can prove to be a false promise.

Wedding Day Sunday, April 3, 2016     

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The Hidden Children April is Autism Awareness Month. My daughters' autism is something that they will live with for their entire lives. How will you handle the few moments when they enter your life?

Carl and Nicole Petersen Sunday, March 27, 2016 (3 comments)     

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Putting A Face On MS As Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month comes to an end, I am republishing a blog detailing my wife's experiences with the condition.

Thursday, March 24, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Trading Student Safety for Independence? Who holds a charter organization responsible when the school makes decisions that negatively impact student safety?

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_opednews_com_503224_hqdefault_212.gif Monday, March 14, 2016 (9 comments)     

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Trump the Alpha Male? The cancellation of the rally in Chicago pulls back the curtain to expose the Wizard of Ego.

Image created from image crediting Friday, March 11, 2016 (2 comments)     

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A School District's Attack on Special Education Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board member sets up a funding fight between special education and general education.

education Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Planting a Flag in LAUSD's District 2 Today I filed paperwork with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission to become a candidate for the District 2 seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board.

Refugio "Ref" Rodriguez Friday, February 26, 2016     

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Charter Schools: A Parasite In Search of a Host A charter school attempts to force a "co-location" on public schools, and the parents and teachers of local school fight back.

education Tuesday, February 23, 2016     

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Obstruction in the "Public Interest"? The Los Angeles Unified School District refuses to disclose public records, claiming the information is "protected" and "confidential." What are they hiding?

Mitch McConnell: Top Priority, Make Obama a One Term President Republican Senate M Tuesday, February 16, 2016 (2 comments)     

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Exercising The Mandate Obama was elected to lead and must not let Republicans rob him of his responsibility to appoint the next justice to the Supreme Court.

Education Calculator on Notebook Friday, February 12, 2016 (11 comments)     

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Charter Schools: Looting Public Schools and Milking Taxpayers Insulated from public or government scrutiny, a charter school's administration is allowed to set their own pay.

Granada Hills Charter High School Tuesday, January 26, 2016 (1 comments)     

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The Great and Powerful Executive Director A charter student's health is compromised by a school administration that tries to cut a parent out of the equation.

Image created from image crediting Monday, January 25, 2016 (1 comments)     

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Out of Smell, Out of Mind The rotten egg smell has sickened residents affected by the Porter Ranch Gas Leak. What about the things that cannot be smelled?

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadphotos/s_300_i_ytimg_com_503224_wuI0fP4kc64_hqdefault_494.gif Saturday, January 16, 2016 (4 comments)     

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Apologizer in Chief After seven years in office, President Obama should have learned that apologizing to your adversaries only emboldens them.

education Friday, January 15, 2016 (1 comments)     

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King Us The Los Angeles Unified School District finally has a Superintendent. Has she already been weakened by the District's actions?

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