ENDORSEMENTS as published in SouthPasadenan.com

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ENDORSEMENT: Congresswoman Judy Chu

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ENDORSEMENT: Teachers Association of South Pasadena (TASP)

Dr. Suzie Abajian Endorsement: Teachers Association of South Pasadena (TASP)

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Running for Reelection November 3, 2020

Since my election to the South Pasadena school board in 2015, I have consistently supported the expansion of our academic and extracurricular programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and dual language immersion. 

During my time on the school board I took the lead in pushing for a multicultural literature course at the high school to engage our students with culturally and linguistically responsive, LGBTQ positive and inclusive curricula and instruction, which is so important given the current political context. 

As a lifelong educator in K-12, college, and graduate levels I bring an important perspective to the board and understand how things work at the ground level. I am a fierce advocate for all our students and particularly students who need additional support. I have tirelessly advocated for the closing of the opportunity gap for our underserved students.  

Over the past five years, the board of education put a parcel tax and a $98 million bond measure on the ballot, which voters approved, enabling us to expand programming and fund much needed upgrades and building projects in every school in our district. 

We are currently faced with unprecedented challenges concerning school funding, navigating the impact of COVID-19 on our students and staff and making sure that we are continuing to meet the needs of our underserved students, special education students and English Language Learners. More than ever, we need to continue providing social-emotional support for our students. We also need to continue offering arts programs that are so important in generating joy and connection and engaging students in learning. 

In these uncertain times, the school district needs sure and proven leadership that will put the safety and social-emotional well-being of students and staff first and ensure that our district continues to offer meaningful educational experiences for all our students. For these reasons, I humbly ask for your vote.

I have been endorsed by many South Pasadena community leaders and the only candidate endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley. I have also been endorsed by the Teachers' Association of South Pasadena and the National Women’s Political Caucus of San Gabriel Valley.

Here is some information about my background:

I began my career in education in 1999 as a Mathematics teacher at SPHS. I have a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, an M.A. in Teaching Mathematics and a B.A. in Mathematics from Occidental College. Over the twenty one years of my educational career I have served as a field supervisor for the Teacher Education Program at UCLA, an educational researcher at UCLA, a Mathematics professor at LMU and an Education Professor at Occidental College. I am currently a district level administrator at the Orange County Department of Education.  As I have made South Pasadena my home, I have served the community through volunteer work on executive boards of local non-profits including WISPPA and Vecinos de South Pasadena. 

In 2017 I was honored as the Democrat of the Year for the 41st Assembly District. In 2018 I was named Congressional Woman of the Year by Congresswoman Judy Chu. 

In addition to my service on the South Pasadena School Board, I serve on the Delegate Assembly of the California School Board Association. I also serve on the steering committee of the Ethnic Studies Now Coalition. 

I am a immigrant from Syria. My family came to the United States when I was 12 years old. I speak five languages and English is my third language. I love living in South Pasadena with my husband and newborn daughter. 

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