Below is an article by Madison Mills which appeared in USC Annenberg New's ATVN on February 26, 2013. The article covers Emanuel Pleitez' policy vision for education and grassroots change in Los Angeles.
"Los Angeles mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez visited USC's School of Social Work Tuesday morning to speak with graduate students about civic responsibility.
Pleitez started his discussion by explaining why he decided to campaign against a group of more experienced candidates in LA's mayoral race.
“I’m a native Angelino," Pleitez said. "I felt that someone needed to be addressing the issues…especially in the communities that have been most forgotten.”
Pleitez, who considers himself an underdog in the race, said experiencing the realities of growing up in Los Angeles has made him more equipped to tackle the city's largest issues.
While focusing on the importance of education reform and minorities, he told USC graduate students the story of his cousin, a high school senior, who only knows three college graduates.
“We need to increase the literacy of our public," Pleitez said. "We need incentivized education.”
Pleitez hopes to create a system in which any social program providing a service would be tied to a learning opportunity.
When asked about where he sees the biggest need for education reform, he stated that education should start at the very beginning of kindergarten and continue all the way through retirement.
Pleitez said his campaign makes a point of aiding minorities and bridging the gap between political parties in order to do so.
He is a leader of No Labels, a nonpartisan organization which seeks to overcome political turmoil to focus on the issues.
“I’m surprised by how many people are tired of the status quo,” Pleitez said after being asked about what community members told him during his campaign.
Pleitez also encouraged students at USC to get involved and to create change.
“It’s sometimes mind boggling how little it takes," Pleitez said. "It’s not going to happen unless you organize people…and quite frankly, that’s politics. That’s how policy gets enacted.”
To see the original article, visit http://www.atvn.org/news/2013/02/la-mayoral-candidate-emmanuel-pleitez-visits-usc.