Luz Rivas has dedicated her professional career fighting to ensure every Californian has the opportunity to learn, prosper and succeed.
With a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT and a Master's degree in Education from Harvard, Luz has focused on encouraging young girls to pursue training and careers in science, engineering, and technology. The founder of DIY Girls, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping girls become interested in math and science, Luz has helped set thousands of young women on the path towards economic empowerment, independence, and self-confidence.
Even as a child, Luz had a love of technology and science, and she has seen firsthand how these fields can allow girls and boys to become successful professionals. She succeeded in part because of adults repeatedly encouraged her to develop an interest in technology. That's why she has chosen to help other young people find the same opportunity.
Luz was raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley by a single mother who cleaned bathrooms at a hospital in Lakeview Terrace. Initially the family rented a room in a house, and later lived in a converted garage and back houses in Pacoima, San Fernando and Arleta. Her mother took night classes to learn English and office skills, and ultimately got a new job.
As a fifth grader at Telfair Elementary in Pacoima, Luz became interested in technology and engineering when her teacher taught her class how to program an Apple IIe computer. That's when she knew that she loved technology. At Pacoima Middle School, she continued learning about computer science, and at San Fernando High School, she enrolled in a state program that helped students excel in math and science and go on to college in these fields.
While Luz was in high school, her mom was laid off, so Luz worked two jobs to save money for college. Her math teacher encouraged her to apply to MIT and she was admitted. Initially, Luz was nervous about leaving her family and friends in the San Fernando Valley, but a family friend loaned her $300 for a plane ticket so she could visit the campus. She fell in love with the school and four years later, Luz graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
After working as an Electrical Engineer at Motorola, Luz's passion to get kids interested in science and technology led her to earn a Masters of Education from Harvard University. After graduating, she returned to the Valley, and in 2011, Luz founded DIY Girls, a nonprofit based in the Valley that encourages girls to become interested in science and technology. Since 2012, the program has served over 2000 girls from grades 4-12, helping them develop skills as engineering and designers. DIY Girls also works with partner schools throughout the Northeast Valley to create new science and technology programs.
DIY Girls has also organized workshops and events for hundreds of women throughout Los Angeles, where they have had the opportunity to learn new skills and connect with tech leaders. Many of these women have found mentors, training opportunities, and transitioned to new careers.
Most recently, Luz served as a City of Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner where she continued her gender equity work. In that capacity she worked on events to help women-owned businesses compete for city contracts. She also led a recruitment initiative for women engineers in Public Works by reaching out to groups like the Society of Women Engineers to increase the number of women applicants.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti
Congressman Tony Cardenas
Congresswoman Norma Torres
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congressman Pete Aguilar
Congressman Howard Berman (retired)
Congressman Salud Carbajal
CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla
CA State Controller Betty Yee
Attorney General Xavier Becerra
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian
Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg (retired)
LA City Council President Herb Wesson
LA Councilwoman Nury Martinez
LA City Councilman Mitch Englander
LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian
LA Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez
LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino
LA Councilman Bob Blumenfield
LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn
San Fernando City Councilman Joel Fajardo
City of Calabasas Mayor Fred Gaines
Azusa Unified School District Board Member Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez
California Democratic Party
Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley
Los Angeles County Young Democrats
Stonewall Democratic Club
Stonewall Young Democrats
New Frontier Democratic Club
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County
Women's Political Committee
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City
Los Angeles Police Protective League
Latinas Lead CA
Voices for Progress
Civil Engineers for Infrastructure
Southern California Armenian Democrats
Armenian Council of America
Armenian National Committee of America - Western Region
Service Employees International Union
National Women's Political Caucus of California
Peace Officers Research Association of America (PORAC)
California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV)
San Fernando Valley Young Democrats
California School Employees Association (CSEA)
CA National Organization for Women (CA NOW)
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)
Association of California State Supervisors (ACSS)
California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP)
CAL FIRE Local 2881
California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS)
Alex Reza, Retired LAUSD Teacher and Community Activist
Gricelda Gutierrez, Telfair Elementary - Pacoima
Anita Zepeda, Executive Director, Vaughn Charter School
Ford Roosevelt, CEO, Project Grad
Carmen Gutierrez - San Fernando High School Alumni Association
Cristina Razo, O'Melveny Elementary - San Fernando
Norma Rodriguez, Telfair Elementary - Pacoima
Steve List - Sylmar Charter HS Agriculture Program
Violet Mardirosian - San Fernando HS Math/Science Magnet coordinator and DIY Girls InvenTeam Leader
Jose Razo - Principal, Telfair Elementary School - Pacoima
Vanessa Garza - Principal, Girls Athletic Leadership Charter School - Arleta
Donna Mandosa , Geffen Academy UCLA
Bob Kahn, CS/Robotics Teacher, Brentwood School
* Titles for Identification Purposes Only
For a complete list of endorsements click here.
In the News
Democrat Luz Rivas finished first by a wide margin Tuesday and moved on to a runoff against Republican Ricardo Benitez