WEST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY – Two local activists and one former college president are seeking election in March to the powerful community college district board that runs 10 junior colleges in Los Angeles County and has expended billions in bond dollars to rebuild them in the past few years.
Former Assemblyman Mike Eng is seeking election to Trustee seat No. 2, and David Vela, Montebello school board member is running for seat No. 6.
Meanwhile, Ernest Moreno, retired president of East Los Angeles College is also running for the college board Seat No. 4.
The district includes East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, the crown jewel of the colleges with 15,000 students, the largest enrollment of all the community colleges.
Eng was termed out as assemblyman for the 49th District which includes Monterey Park, Rosemead and Alhambra. He is opposed by John Burke, a college accounting professional. Eng is well known locally because he served on the Monterey Park City Council and is married to Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-El Monte).
David Vela, who serves on the Montebello Unified School District board, was previously employed by county Supervisor Gloria Molina and now works for state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Monterey Park). Vela is opposing long-time incumbent Nancy Pearlman and two other candidates for Seat No. 6.
The other candidates for office No. 6 are Tom Oliver and Michael Aldapa.
Moreno, who retired two years ago as president of East Los Angeles College, is opposing Jozef Essavi, a county commissioner, for Seat No. 4. Moreno spearheaded the construction of the new campus and spent one-year reorganizing Mission Community College in the San Fernando Valley.
The community college district primary election will be held on March 5 at the same time as many city elections. If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates face each other in a May runoff election.