Trisha Murakawa announced her bid for the El Camino Community College Board, Trustee Area 3 last week.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to take my public service to the next level,” she said.

Trisha Murakawa

Living in Redondo Beach for 29 years, Murakawa served on four city commissions under five mayors over the span of 24 years. Her professional experience also includes work in the higher education field, having conducted government relations activities for UCLA at the state level, including work on two education bond programs to fund capital projects.

“As a graduate of the El Camino Fire Program, El Camino Community College is important to me,” said Hermosa Beach City Councilmember Michael Detoy. “I want to make sure these programs are well supported for future firefighters and other first responders and that’s why I’m supporting Trisha Murakawa. She has the experience and commitment to keep our community college programs fully funded.”

Active in the community, Murakawa feels public service is an effective way to create positive social change. She learned this from her mentor, Warren Furutani, a former member of the California State Assembly, the first Asian American elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and a former member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees.

Furutani became a true mentor when he spoke at the National Youth Conference for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) while Murakawa chaired the organization’s National Youth Council.

“Hearing Warren speak was an emotional experience,” said Murakawa, knowing that it’s one of the “ways to know you’re a Japanese American.”

Murakawa is running a serious campaign. In addition to endorsements from Furutani and Detoy, in ten days, she received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, who have overlapping districts, as well as Rep. Mark Takano, former Assemblymember Mike Eng, and numerous others.

Murakawa comes from a long tradition of public service. Her great aunt, Sue Embrey, partnered with Furutani to launch the first pilgrimage to Manzanar, which was the foundation for the creation of the Manzanar Committee.

Her parents, Galen and Phyllis Murakawa, continued to set a path for the family of community service through their involvement with the JACL and the Crescent Bay Optimist Club.

Murakawa also served with the JACL on the local Pacific Southwest District board as well as on the national board. Her service continued with the American Lung Association in California, where she chaired the board for two years during a tumultuous economic time and when a CEO transition occurred.

The El Camino Community College Board will experience a leadership transition as two seats on this board are open. Also, the college president, Dena P. Maloney, announced her retirement next June, so the new board will hire the next president.

“I want to be part of the team who hires the next leader of El Camino,” Murakawa said. “And I want to be part of the leadership that will take El Camino to its next level of success.”

The election is in November and the district Murakawa is running for covers El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and North Redondo Beach.

Murakawa has an event planned for Saturday, Aug. 29, at 11 a.m. featuring former State Treasurer John Chiang.

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