Education board veteran wins Assembly seat

Democrat Warren T. Furutani, a former board member of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), won a special election on Feb. 5 with major approval to the 55th Assembly District.Winning with an overwhelming 69.84 percent of the votes, Furutani ran against Libertarian Herb Peters, who earned 14.76 percent and American Independent Charlotte Sadiyah Gibson, who had 15.40 percent. Furutani was a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education from 1987 to 1990 and a member of the LACCD Board of Trustees from 1999 to early 2008.”The thing I’m most concerned about is fees, also class offerings,” said Furutani, regarding student concerns.Furutani is already carrying three initiatives, one of which strongly supports community college interests.As the first Asian Pacific American elected and reelected to the LAUSD and LACCD boards, Furutani’s education agenda included establishing admissions programs for minority students at colleges, as well as establishing ethnic studies programs and departments at those colleges.Furutani took Assemblywoman Laura Richardson’s position in the 55th Assembly District after Richardson took Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald’s position in the House of Representatives for California’s 37th congressional district. The replacement was due to the fact that Millender-McDonald, 68, died of cancer.The 55th District covers Carson, Lakewood, Long Beach, parts of South Los Angeles, Signal Hill and Torrance.Richardson had defeated Furutani for the Assembly seat in 2006.