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Santa Monica College Board Election Takes Shape
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

May 10, 2016 -- At least one incumbent and one challenger will be in the November election for three seats on the Santa Monica College (SMC) Board of Trustees. Three-term Trustee Rob Rader and newcomer Sion Roy announced their candidacies this week.

Roy kicked off his campaign Sunday with an announcement that he would run. He is a cardiologist at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and teaches an introductory health policy course at SMC.

“As [an adjunct faculty member], I have seen the daily challenges of students and staff at the college,” Roy said in a statement. “And I believe I can make a positive impact that will make a great community institution even stronger.”

Roy, an officer in the Santa Monica Democratic Club, also sits on SMC’s Bond Oversight Committee and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) Health and Safety District Advisory Committee.

He told The Lookout that a major reason he chose to run for a seat on the governing board of SMC rather than the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) board was because he “felt strongly about increasing the medical curriculum and courses at SMC.”

“Education allowed me to come from an immigrant family, attend Johns Hopkins University and achieve my dreams of being a cardiologist," Roy said. "I think I can make a positive impact on the lives of SMC students, which is what motivated me to run.”

After Roy’s announcement, The Lookout contacted the three incumbents facing re-election -- Rader, Susan Aminoff and Margaret Quinones-Perez.

Rader was the only one who responded before the publication deadline and confirmed he would run for a fourth term.

“I am proud of Santa Monica College’s record over the last 12 years I’ve served as trustee and I look forward to serving the people of Santa Monica and Malibu as we continue our status as the number one transfer institution in the State of California and remain the tops in local participation for any California community college,” Rader told the Lookout.

Rader is an attorney who specializes in digital media. He is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine School of Law in Malibu.

It appears Quinones-Perez, who has served on the board since 2000, will also run for re-election.

She filed a disclosure statement with the City Clerk’s office late last week for a committee called "Friends of Margaret Quinones-Perez for College Board 2016."
Quinones-Perez has a day job at El Camino College as a counselor.

SMC board elections do not often attract many candidates. When the three incumbents ran in 2012, they did not face any opponents. They only had one challenger four years earlier. There were six candidates for four seats in the most recent election in 2014.

If there are enough candidates for a competitive election this year, the endorsement from Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) could be a major factor. All seven trustees won their most recent election with SMRR’s backing.

Although a SMRR endorsement is important, it is not essential. Quinones-Perez won re-election in 2004 without SMRR’s support.

Santa Monica voters are not the only people deciding this election. The SMC District includes Malibu as well as some unincorporated areas.

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