Few who seek to offer aid to the less fortunate can truly empathise with those who find themselves in dire circumstances. However, Tricia Robbins Kossan’s own past personal struggles put her in a unique position to understand just what the underprivileged struggle with and what support they need.
Kasson, a former Piece College student, ran as a Democratic candidate for California Assembly 45th District. She also has experience working under LA city councilman Bob Blumenfield as an economic development director.
Kasson cited her work with Blumenfield as significant to her inspiration to pursue politics.
“I have been in local government for almost 10 years, and I have seen that there is so much good that can be done,” Kasson said.
Kasson said she had a troubled past as a teenager, and left home at a young age.
“Due to family issues, I had to drop out of Kennedy High School when I was 16 years old. My high school counselor let me know that I can attend community college without a high school diploma, so I came to Pierce College in 1991.”
Kasson went on to Santa Monica College and earned her General Education Equivalency diploma and Associate’s degree. Afterward, she transferred to Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN), where she got her bachelor’s degree in business.
After graduating from CSUN Kasson, received her masters degree in urban development at University of Southern California.
AS a political figure, Kasson said she is conscientious and considerate in her actions.
“I am thoughtful and I make decisions based on all points of view,” Kasson said. “I focus on economic opportunity, which is important to everyone.”
Political consultant Larry Levine said Kasson’s economic experience makes her stand out from other political figures.
“Tricia is unique among the other candidates… when it comes to her work experience. She has worked in the Valley both in urban planning and economic developing. Other candidates cannot offer that same package” Levine said.
Andra Hoffman, who is a member of the board of trustees for the Los Angeles Community College District, ran for the 45th District seat before supporting Kasson in her run. She said that she was first made aware of Kossan by Blumenfield.
“I met with Bob Blumenfield, and we were strategizing in finding women who would be interested in running in the West San Fernando Valley” Hoffman said.
She said Blumenfield mentioned that Kasson just completed the Emerge California program, which teaches women who are interested in politics how to run as Democratic candidates for public offices.
“[Kasson] had expressed desire to run for office, and that is when we met each other,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said that Kasson is dedicated in solving the homeless issue because she can relate to what it is like living in the streets.
“She had to deal with abuse at home, which is the reason why she dropped out of high school and found a job. For a while, she was living in her car, so she knows what it is like to live in the streets,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said that Kossan is motivated by the desire to increase the quality of life for those living in California.
“She is running for all the right reasons because she wants to make sure the lives for Californians are improved,” Hoffman said. “We grew up in the San Fernando Valley at a time when there was good paying jobs and the cost of living was reasonable, which is the reason why she wants to bring that back to our community.”