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LAUSD Board Swears In New Member Rocío Rivas: 'We Have To Invest In Our Children'

A brown-skinned woman wearing a red dress clutches a tissue in one hand and smiles as she accepts a nameplate that reads "Dr. Rocio Rivas, Board Member."
After a brief swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 13, 2022, newly-elected board member Rocío Rivas began a four-year term representing District 2 on the L.A. Unified school board.
(Ryanne Mena
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The Los Angeles Unified school board's newest member, Rocío Rivas, took the oath of office on Tuesday, kicking off a four-year term representing parts of Central and East L.A. as the board member for District 2.

What the new board member said: “We say we love [our children]," Rivas said in a brief speech after her swearing-in, "but we are failing them. We are failing them in so many ways — and if we want to see a just society, we want to see a compassionate world, if we want to see people not living in the streets, if we want to see everyone living to their full potential, then we have to invest in our children.”

The bigger picture: Rivas' win capped a triumphant election season for L.A.'s powerful teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. UTLA endorsed two of the three candidates who won terms in 2022: Rivas and District 6 incumbent Kelly Gonez; two wealthy teachers union critics opposed Rivas' campaign. Now, UTLA allies have a solid majority on the board at a time when the teachers union is locked in increasingly tense negotiations with the school district for a new contract.

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Go deeper: Read our interview with Rivas.