Vote today for LBUSD board member in District 3

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lbusd-electionToday’s the day. Long Beach residents will head to the polls for a Special Election to fill the the vacant LBUSD school board seat in District  3.

Candidates Kate Erin Conrath, Richard Lewis, John McGinnis, Raymond Chavarria and Pauline Gonzalez Stenberg are vying for the seat which represents more than 39,000 in the downtown area that comprises District 3.

The polls will be open for voting today, December 29 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

About the School Board Candidates (reprinted from their websites):

Raymond Chavarria is a resident, community activist and youth advocate of more than 25 years in Long Beach. He currently serves, as the associate/project director for the United Cambodian Community (UCC). He was the founder and president of Centro CHA (Community Hispanic Association), established the Cesar Chavez Youth Soccer Association, a founding member of the Long Beach Youth Gang Task Force, a graduate of the Long Beach Neighborhood Leadership Program.

John McGinnis says “I’ll bring 20 years experience as a community college administrator and 20 years as a high school English teacher and school librarian to my service as a school board member.” Past experience includes: Dean of the Library and Learning Resource Center at Cerritos College, Newport Harbor High School teacher and librarian, (2002) president of the California Academic and Research Library Association.

Pauline Gonzalez Stenberg says “I have been active in various PTA positions including PTA President for Newcomb Elementary and Millikan High School. I was a member of the LBUSD School Attendance Review Board. As a 42-year Long Beach resident, I’ll be responsive to students, parents and teachers. I attended Long Beach City College and was employed by the U.S. Secret Service and Customs Agency.”

Richard Lewis says “I will be a strong advocate for our children, while engaging parents, teachers, students, and the broader community to find common sense, ‘outside of the box’ solutions.” Past experience includes: 21 years in business operations and financial consulting, Board Member for The Center Long Beach, Downtown Long Beach Associates Board of Directors, President of the East Village Association, 2nd Council District Representative to the Downtown Long Beach Visioning Committee, and Member of the Board of Trustees of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Kate Erin Conrath (from her candidate’s statement) says “I have a unique perspective and valuable insight on urban education. …I can helo create realistic solutions empowering families and teachers … helping students reach their potential.” Past experience: 3 years as a middle school teacher at LAUSD, worked with Teach for America.

The special election is winner-take-all.  No runoff is required even if the candidate with the most votes falls short of a 50 percent majority.

Whoever wins will hold the position for a few months to serve out the remainder of Michael Ellis’ unexpired term. To keep the seat, they will have to run again in the general election on April 13, 2010.

Schools in LBUSD’s District 3 include: Chavez, Edison, International, Lee, Lincoln, Stevenson and Whittier elementary schools; Franklin Classical Middle School; and Renaissance High School for the Arts.

The polls on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling place or for more election information call the Long Beach City Clerk’s office at (562) 570-6101 or go to

Voters that need a ride to the polls can get a lift for free courtesy of Long Beach Yellow Cab. Call (800) 233-0420.

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