• Luz Rivas for 39th Assembly District


    Endorsed by the California Democratic Party

  • Why I'm Running

    As we begin the New Year, it is a time of both hope and concern.

    Our President seems more focused on proving his manliness than improving the lives of American families. 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.

  • Endorsements

    Elected Officials

    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

    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 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

    Pro-Active 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

    Fund Her

    Educators *

    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


    Science, Engineering, and Technology Leaders *

    Heren Molina, Past President, American Society of Civil Engineers - Pacoima

    Rosa Delgado, President, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers - Sylmar Native

    Leticia Rodriguez, Executive Director, DIY Girls - Pacoima

    Hosna Qusmei, President, Society of Women Engineers - CSUN

    Brent Bushnell, CEO & Roustabout, Two Bit Circus

    Katherine Wilcox, Executive Director, EnCorps STEM Teachers Program

    Josh Taylor, Founder and CEO, 9 Dots

    LeeAnn Kline, Founder and CEO, STEM Advantage

    Tara Tiger Brown, Founder, LA Makerspace

    Dr. Michael Batie, President, Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers

    Raymond Ealy, Founder and CEO, STEAM Coders

    Leah Haynes, Executive Director and Chief Juggler, Two Bit Circus Foundation

    Lala Castro, Founder, Latina Geeks

    Jazlyn Carvajal, Co-Founder, Latinas in STEM

    Kimberly Bryant, Founder and CEO, Black Girls Code

    Frances Pinedo, MIT Avanza Network

    Jennifer Arguello, Board Member, Latinas in Computing

    Jorge Cornejo, Founder, Hackerspace LA

    Bing Jing, Founder and Owner, Rolling Robots

    Neil Spears, Executive Director, PowerMyLearning

    Amy Kim, COO, Iridescent and March for LA Organizer

    Norma Fernandez, Senior Director, EveryoneOn

    Leslie Aaronson, Strategic Director, National Center for Women and Information Technology and Girls Build LA

    Gretchen Walker, Vice President of Education, The Tech Museum of Innovation

    Paul Poole, Director of Education, Discovery Science Center

    Lilly Kam, Director of STEM, i.am.angel Foundation

    Mimi Ito, MacArthur Foundation Chair of Digital Media and Learning, UC Irvine

    Ana Diaz-Hernandez, Diversity Council Member, Code.org

    Stefanie Santos, Senior Advisor, White House Office of Science and Technology (Obama Administration)

    Megan Arnett, Program Manager, Science Buddies

    Janine Hernandez, Program Manager, TECHNOlochicas

    Ben Dickow, Founder, West Side Science Club

    Natalie Villalobos, Head of Global Programs for Women Techmakers, Google

    Dr. Karina Edmonds, Google Cloud University Lead, Google

    Anna Barber, Managing Director, TechStars LA

    Peneleope and America Lopez, CyberCode Twins

    Liliana Monge, CEO, Sabio Engineering and Security Professionals

    Tracy Van Houten, Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab

    Amy Jager, Project Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation

    Diana Albarrán Chicas, Satellite Product Line Manager, Space Systems Loral

    Veronica Garcia, Staff Engineer, Aerojet Rocketdyne

    Belinda de la Libertad, Founder and Managing Partner, A-Z Techs

    Stacie Henderson, CEO, Keep.com

    Judith Ibarra-Bianchetta, Vice President, Tetra Tech

    Julia Cheng, Board Member, Out in Tech

    Jo Wright, Senior Technical Designer, DICE

    Vyki Englert, Advisor, Code for America

    Michele Lee, Co-founder, California Bioproducts Innovation Center


    Women Business Leaders *

    Priscilla Chavez, President, National Association of Women in Construction - LA

    Eva Ho, General Partner, Fika Ventures

    Nancy Perlman, Partner, Fourthwave

    Megan Westerby, Director of Research, CBS International Studios

    Grace Woo, Angel Investor, Pipeline Angels

    Tamra Johnson, Founder and COO, FlexTeam

    Saujin Yi, Founder and CEO, FlexTeam


    * Titles for Identification Purposes Only

  • Meet Luz

    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.

  • In the News

    "If endorsements are any indication, Rivas’ campaign is off to a solid start."


    "Luz Rivas' fate as a STEM crusader may have been sealed by the time she was in fifth grade."

    Luz Rivas - Ingeniera e Impulsora De La Educación y La Tecnología


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