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CSEA Chapter 477 has endorsed Anais Medina Diaz for Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees Area 1 and Vanessa C. Tyson for Area 5.

Learn a little about the candidates below:

anais medina diaz

In 2021, Anais was elected to represent the City of El Monte as the Trustee for Area 1 on the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees during a special election. She now serves as the Board Clerk and has advocated for resources, partnerships and career pathways that meet the needs of El Monte residents and the campus community.

Anais is a first generation Latina, mother, and communications professional living in the City of El Monte. She was raised in the communities of El Monte and South El Monte where she attended local schools, met her husband, David Diaz, and welcomed her first child. Anais graduated from the University of La Verne, and supplemented her education by attending classes at Rio Hondo Community College to receive her B.A. in Communications in 2010. In 2018, she completed her Masters program at the University of Southern California and received her Masters of Strategic Public Relations with a Certificate in Public Policy Advocacy. Anais also served on the Executive Board for The Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California.

Currently, she serves as the Public Information Officer for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and is dedicated to increasing awareness and education about the public health threats mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases pose to the 6 million residents the public health agency serves through collaborations and partnerships with nonprofit
organizations, schools, neighborhood councils, and city electeds.

Before her recent position, Anais worked on various environmental campaigns focused on creating a more equitable, sustainable, and healthier Los Angeles County. As the coalition coordinator and communications specialist for OurWaterLA, she helped form and advocate for the passage of the historic Safe Clean Water Program which invests in our infrastructure to secure safe, clean water for our most underserved communities, including the City of El Monte.

Furthermore, Anais has partnered with organizations like Active San Gabriel Valley, Nature for All, Council for Watershed Health, and Day One to support multiple community advocacy programs such as the Puente Hills Landfill Parks Master Plan, Safe Routes to Schools in El Monte/South El Monte, and 626 Golden Streets.

Anais recognizes that without the access to higher education or her father’s union job, she would not have the career or opportunities afforded to her. Anais is passionate about higher education and ensuring all folks regardless of income, gender, immigration status, and ability have access to higher education. Inspired by the lived experience of her immigrant parents and
family, Anais has seen first hand how an education can increase opportunities and positively impact quality of life. She’s motivated to continue being an advocate for those most in need and bring resources that help build a more equitable, inclusive El Monte community.

vanessa c tyson

Vanessa C. Tyson
College Professor/Researcher
Candidate for Rio Hondo Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area #5

As an educator, policy researcher, and lifelong Whittier community member, I’m dedicated to the continued education of our entire community. I’ve taught at the college/university level for over a decade, winning multiple awards for teaching and research. I want to serve on the Board of Trustees at Rio Hondo College to provide and promote ethical leadership, and to help steward the College as the institution faces challenges and explores new directions for change.

Your vote would allow me to give back to our community, and offer some lessons I learned along the way—meeting students, faculty, and staff where they’re at and asking

  • How can we reduce outside stressors so we all can thrive and learn in spite of adverse circumstances and experiences?
  • What do students need to complete their programs and/or transfer to four-year institutions and how can Rio Hondo better meet those needs?
  • How do we better support faculty and increase funding for programs and departments?

As a first-generation college graduate myself, I will tirelessly advocate for financial knowledge among the student body, which extends beyond financial aid to understanding broader aspects of debt, credit, and public policy. I’ll provide strong support for expanded mental health resources, tutoring, and food security. I want to help students flourish in their classes and achieve (and possibly surpass) their goals for the future. Most important, I want to prevent students from falling through the cracks.

I’m a graduate of local public schools (Murphy Ranch Elementary School, Granada Middle School, La Serna High School), and a firm believer in AFFORDABLE EDUCATION and STUDENT SUCCESS. Throughout my college and graduate studies, I worked multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. I took out loans year after year to support my studies, and I’ve personally experienced financial insecurity as I struggled to reach my goal of earning a Ph.D. and becoming a tenured professor here in Southern California.

I’m an avowed education advocate focused on strengthening the resources and curricula at Rio Hondo College. I want to represent our community interests by serving on the Board of Trustees for Rio Hondo. I humbly ask for your vote.

A proud Whittier native, Vanessa Tyson currently teaches in the Department of Politics at Scripps College in nearby Claremont. Her courses include Introduction to Public Policy; Women and Public Policy; Environmental Policy in the US; Black Americans and the Political System; and Marginalized Communities.

Dr. Tyson’s first book, Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the US House of Representatives (Oxford University Press, 2016), explored structural inequality in the United States, and how members of Congress have formed multiracial coalitions (particularly among Black, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander Representatives) as an improved strategy to provide for their diverse constituencies. 

An expert on policy formulation, implementation, and oversight, Dr. Tyson has an extensive background in both US and California politics. Tyson spent years working as an advocate for sexual violence awareness and prevention, serving as one of the founding members of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Survivor Speakers’ Bureau, and starting a self-esteem/self-awareness program for female juvenile offenders through the Department of Youth Services in the State of Massachusetts. Tyson has been featured in US News and World Report, the Sacramento Bee, NPR, The Huffington Post, and many other news outlets.

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Tyson attended Murphy Ranch Elementary School, Granada Middle School, and La Serna High School in Whittier, where she was raised by a single mother. She has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in politics, coupled with a certificate in African American Studies, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in political science. In past years, she has won numerous awards for teaching and scholarship, including prestigious research fellowships from both UCLA (2014-15) and Stanford University (2018-19).

In October 2019, Dr. Tyson received the “Visionary Award” from the American Psychological Foundation for both her advocacy and research on sexual violence.

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