A public servant on Los Angeles' east side for the last decade, Luis Lopez is hoping to represent Angelenos in the 51st Assembly District.
Lopez currently serves as the president of the Los Angeles East Area Planning Commission. He also served for four years as the co-chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and on the Parks Oversight Committee.
He's currently director of corporate communications for AltaMed Health Services, a non-profit, federally qualified community health care provider with locations in Los Angeles and Orange County.
He received his undergraduate degree in Sociology at Pomona College before attending Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Patch spoke to Lopez by phone as a part of our series of candidate profiles.
With the future of President Barack Obama's health care program uncertain, Lopez said it was difficult to predict what steps he could take to ensure that residents of the 51st Assembly District would have equitable access to affordable health care services. However, Lopez said it was critical that the state continue to provide adequate funding to community health centers.
"If families without health insurance lose access to affordable community health care centers, they'll resort to going to the emergency room, which ends up costing us a lot more money in the long run," Lopez said.
California's Proposition 39 requires public schools to provide charter schools equal access to their campuses. Recently, it's become a hot topic in Northeast Los Angeles, with teachers at
While not directly stating his opposition to Proposition 39, he suggested that it needed to be reformed.
"Our public schools need all the access to resources that they can get, that includes its own facilities and campus space," he said. "This is a difficult issue that requires all the parties to come to the table."
In debates leading up to Tuesday's election, Lopez has stated that what distinguishes himself from the other candidates is that his campaign is funded by a large network of individual donors.
"I've been lucky to build my campaign thanks to the donations of many small donors, so I won't be beholden anyone but the voters if I'm elected," Lopez said.
Lopez declined to elaborate further when asked how he felt candidates Jimmy Gomez and Arturo Chavez would be influenced by their donors.
"That's a question that the voters need to ask themselves," Lopez. "All I can say is how I'll act, which is in the best interest of the voters."
Detailed information of each candidate's campaign finances can be found here.
Lopez said he supported the concept of a proposed that would run across the State of California, but said it was not financially feasible considering the state's budget situation.
"The time is not right, especially with the state of the budget and our schools struggling for funding the way that they are," he said.
Lopez said he was also opposed to the , and would instead support investment in light-rail and improvements to existing infrastructure.