Educator and community leader Dr. Kelsey K. Iino has announced her bid for appointment to the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) trustee seat vacated by Mike Fong, who last month was elected to the California State Assembly, as well as her candidacy for the election this November,

In addition to Fong’s support, Iino has garnered endorsements from U.S. Rep. Judy Chu; Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi; Alhambra Mayor Jeff Maloney; Chinese American Museum Board Chair Dr. Gay Yuen; former State Controller and State Treasurer John Chiang; former Assemblymember George Nakano; and two former L.A. Community College District trustees and former assemblymembers, Warren Furutani and Mike Eng. Furutani also served on the L.A. Unified School District Board of Education.

Dr. Kelsey Iino

Chu stated, “As the only former full-time faculty member of the L.A. Community College District who serves in Congress, I care deeply about the students in this district. They need somebody who will guide them to a better future, and Kelsey Iino is clearly that person.” 

Eng added, “Dr. Iino is exactly the trustee that the LACCD needs at this critical time. Her teaching experience at three local community colleges combined with 15 years’ experience as a counselor will help the district attract and retain students during a period of serious declining enrollment.”

Iino began her higher education journey as an El Camino College student and went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA and her doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.

“Being a graduate of the community college system myself and working as a counseling faculty member for the last 15 years, I am committed to strengthening the community college system, increasing and sustaining enrollment, understanding what students want and need, insisting on accountability, and above all, making sure our students succeed,” she said.

Iino cites housing insecurity, food insecurity, and the rising cost of living as among the key challenges facing young people today, adding, “Community colleges are critical to our students’ survival.”

She is a member of the Little Tokyo Service Center Board of Directors as well as the Astronaut Onizuka Memorial Committee board, which promotes space and science. 

Asian American and Pacific Islanders comprise approximately 12-15 percent of the nine-campus LACCD student population. Fong’s departure leaves the LACCD Board of Trustees without an AAPI member.

If appointed, Iino will serve the remainder of year and run this November for the rest of Fong’s term through 2024.

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