CSUN alumni elected as local delegates

Richard Mathews, president of the North Valley Democratic Club, joined the delegates at a post-election reception.

The 38th District consists of Simi Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, parts of Chatsworth, Northridge, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills, north of Devonshire or west of Topanga.

Braddon Mendelson, who was elected as one of the new delegates, graduated from CSUN in 1983 and said he thinks that education should be available and affordable to everyone.

“When I went to (CSUN), tuition was $600 a semester, and I believe that tuition is too high,” Mendelson said. “As a delegate, I will take a stand at any position that we can to bring tuition to a reasonable rate so all the students can have a quality education.”

The delegates said they plan to work on resolutions to get students affordable education to acquire their degree.

“If being a delegate helps amplify my voice (or) gets more people to listen, then that is a great thing,” Mendelson said.

Michelle Elmer, a 2012 CSUN graduate in sociology, has been heavily involved in the Democratic Party for the past two years and was elected as one of the 38th Assembly District delegates.

“I want to bring a perspective of a recent college student, because funding (for the CSU system) has been cut ridiculously and has become quite a big problem,” Elmer said.

She said she wants to see more job opportunities open up, especially for college graduates, and to get people involved in environmental issues, marriage equality and women’s rights.

“We are appointed at a clean slate and starting over,” said Richard Mathews, president of North Valley Democratic Club and regional vice chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party.

“We want to do what we can to get democrats elected, and endorsement is part of that. Money is (also) a very big part, and we do everything we can to help get out and vote, make phone calls, do everything we can to get people elected,” Mathews said. “The endorsement process is an important part of that, and we also have local issues we are concerned about.”

Education is another factor the new delegates are focusing on, because of the recent tuition fees. They said they will try to make sure there is more control over tuition for higher education and K-12 schools.

“Education is very important to us, and the North Valley Democratic Club works together with the CSUN Young Democrats,” Mathews said. “We have a nice relationship, and we try to help each other out.”

The other 10 delegates include Dina Cervantes of CSUN’s Young Democrats and former chair of the California State Student Association, Monika Curry, a volunteer for the Democratic Party, Jerry Danielsen, a composer and music teacher, Jorge Fuentes, who volunteered in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Joshua Heath, a volunteer for President Barack Obama, Cece Koplin, an organizer in Santa Clarita, Evan Koplin, a volunteer for Obama, Daniel Monteleone of CSUN’s Young Democrats, Lysa Simon, Secretary of the North Valley Democratic Club, and Barbara Wilson, a health care activist.