Luz Rivas, a former engineer and nonprofit founder, was first elected to the California State Assembly in June 2018 and was re-elected in 2020 and 2022. She currently serves as the Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and as the Chair of the Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector.
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 people to pursue training and careers in science, engineering, and technology. Luz started her career as an Electrical Engineer at Motorola. In 2011, Luz founded DIY Girls, a STEM education nonprofit based in the San Fernando Valley that has helped set thousands of young women on the path towards economic empowerment, independence, and self-confidence.
During Luz's time in the State Assembly, she has been successful as a leader in delivering substantive policy, such as reforming the state's response to homelessness, providing universal school meals to all K-12 public school students, creating the California Youth Empowerment Commission to increase youth civic engagement, working to widen the pool of teachers authorized to teach computer science and advocating for climate solutions that help disadvantaged communities adapt to climate change.
Luz was raised in the 43rd Assembly District (East San Fernando Valley) by a single mother from Mexico 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.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Luz served as a City of Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner where she contributed to delivering projects and programs that enhance quality of life, economic growth, public health and the environment to all Angelenos.
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 Evolve California National Women's Political Caucus of California
Peace Officers Research Association of America (PORAC) Equality CA 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.
The low quality of some of our schools has resulted in young people graduating from high school underprepared for college or a career. I will fight for policies that ensure every child has access to a quality education, and for more career training programs integrated into K-12 schools.
In our community, the supply of affordable housing is nowhere near the need. While we need new construction to increase housing stock, I am also concerned that gentrification of some neighborhoods is both displacing current residents and destroying the fabric of these communities.
Why I'm Running
As we begin the New Year, it is a time of both hope and concern.
Middle class and low income families have been left behind, and the tax bill just signed into law will make things even worse. And, too many of our children aren’t receiving the education they need and deserve.
And yet, the American Dream remains alive. As Americans, optimism comes naturally to us. If we’re going to preserve the American Dream, we have to preserve opportunity: The opportunity to create a better life for your family... the opportunity to succeed, regardless of gender, ethnicity, birthplace, or sexual orientation…and the opportunity to carve your own path.
I know all this from firsthand experience, and I want to make sure that every person has the same opportunity. That’s why today, I‘m announcing my campaign for State Assembly.
I am an engineer by training, an educator by passion, and a public servant by instinct.
I was raised by my immigrant mother who cleaned bathrooms to pay for food and rent. My fifth-grade teacher encouraged me to learn about computers and my high school math teacher encouraged me to apply to MIT. Four years later, I graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT, where fewer than one in four students in the program were female. After working in engineering, my passion to get kids interested in science and technology led me to pursue a Master of Education from Harvard University.
I believe that science and technology offer a vital road to good jobs, and the fact that girls and women are not encouraged to pursue these fields leaves many at a permanent economic disadvantage. As a result, I founded DIY (Do-It- Yourself) Girls, a nonprofit based in Pacoima that offers programs for girls interested in science and technology. Since 2012, DIY Girls has served over 2,000 girls in grades 4-12, helping them to develop 21st century skills and capabilities as engineers and designers.
In the Assembly, I will continue to focus on creating economic opportunity for every Californian by fighting for quality educational opportunities that prepare them for higher paying jobs. And, I will work with local businesses to make sure they have opportunities to compete fairly with giant corporations.
I’m proud that as I start this campaign, I have the support of so many local leaders who have dedicated their careers to creating opportunity, including Congressman Tony Cardenas, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and LA Councilwomen Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez. I’m just as proud to have the support of over 50 leaders in the fields of education and engineering, who know firsthand about the importance of creating economic opportunity through science and technology.
In the coming months, I look forward to hearing your concerns and dreams. I will work hard to earn your trust and support.