NEW YORK – Ankur Patel is running for the 45th state assembly in California, according to the California State University Northridge website.
Patel, the 32-year-old LAUSD Community Coordinator, and an Indian American, who graduated from California State University Northridge with his master’s degree in 2014, has had his hands in politics for nearly a decade now as he ran for Los Angeles City Controller in 2013 and was a candidate for the LAUSD board the year after.
Although he lost both races, Patel was keen to run for the 45th state assembly.
“When I was eleven years old my father ran for Congress. While he cherished the opportunities America provided our family, he knew there was a clear imbalance between the people with power and those of us without,” Patel states on his website.
“My father didn’t win when he ran for Congress, but the experience taught me a lot. A candidate shouldn’t run for office because they believe they have a few good ideas, the backing of big dollars, or they see a political opportunity. A candidate should run for office when they believe they can represent the vision of their community,” he adds.
According to Balletopedia, Patel received his bachelor’s degree in ecology behavior and evolution from the University of California at Los Angeles and as well as his master’s degree from California State University at Northridge.
After earning his bachelor’s, Patel spent a year teaching English to young children in South Korea and then spent another six months teaching English to professionals and university students in China, according to Balletopedia.
When he studied at UCLA, Patel learned about the impact that human activities had on the local and global environment and began getting involved in environmental and political campaigns, according to his website.
“I remember being out on campus or on the street, clipboard in hand, asking people, ‘Do you have a minute for the environment?’ It was an innocent start, much like my father’s, but where beliefs turned to action was during the Aliso Canyon Gas blowout in 2015,” he states on his website.
“As the School and Community Coordinator for LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson, I spent day after night listening to parents, teachers, and community members about the ongoing blowout, and the health symptoms experienced by people across the area. Students and teachers were getting sick, and for the first month not many government agencies were responding to the scale of the crisis. It was not a quick or easy task, but we relocated two schools over the winter break to ensure the safety of the faculty and students. I’m proud of the work we did to protect people and the integrity of our public schools, and I will bring that same ethic of listening and acting to the Assembly,” he adds.
If elected, along with focusing on healthcare and the environment, Patel wants to do something about education.
“One of the things that my father and my family have always emphasized is the importance of education. We need people who are going to prioritize education at the state level. CSU’s are the engine for the growth and the capacity and the building of the state of California,” Patel told California State University Northridge.
On his website Patel talks about his experience in China stating how “this experience was transformative, and gave me a direct perspective on the important work teachers do, and the requirements for student success in the classroom,” and also served as treasurer of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, representing his community to the City of Los Angeles, while he was working on his master’s degree.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Patel will be running along with Justin Clark (R), Tricia Robbins Kasson (D), Jesse Gabriel (D), Daniel Brin (D), Jeff Bornstein (D), Ray Bishop (D) and former City Council member and officer Dennis Zine.
The April 3 election will determine who will replace Matt Dababneh, who resigned in December after being accused of sexual misconduct, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.