It all started when…
City Councilwoman and LAUSD Educator
Graciela Ortiz was born and raised in Huntington Park as the youngest of four siblings. Her father died when she was only six months old, so her mother raised her on her own. From a young age, Graciela took her education seriously. She began her educational career at Miles Avenue Elementary, proceeded to Gage Middle School, and graduated from Huntington Park High School in 1999 with high academic honors.
Immediately after graduating from high school, Graciela attended her dream college, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). One of her greatest accomplishments at UCLA was establishing a chapter of Hermanas Unidas, which focuses on retention and empowerment of women at the university in order to ensure graduation. Being a founding mother of Hermanas Unidas allowed Graciela to learn outstanding leadership skills that have proved useful throughout her career. Upon graduating from UCLA, she decided to pursue a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW), which she earned from California State University, Long Beach in 2006. She also obtained her Pupil Personnel Services and Child Welfare and Attendance Credentials. In October of 2016, Graciela became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Graciela always knew that her passion was in helping children and being their advocate. So, she became a Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor at LAUSD upon receiving her master's degree. She served as a PSA Counselor at Banning High School, Peary Middle School, and then as a Lead District Counselor, and is now working in her Huntington Park community at Linda Esperanza Marquez High School. Although she focuses on students that have attendance problems, she works with all students, helping families break down the barriers that are impeding their children from being successful. She advocates and provides resources to students on juvenile probation, in foster care, and for those who are homeless. Her experience helping the children of Huntington Park allows her to see issues from various perspectives and from a holistic point of view that now helps her problem solve and understand community issues as a Councilmember.
Graciela Ortiz was elected to serve on Huntington Park's City Council in March 2015 and served as Vice- Mayor for the 2015-2016 term. Graciela was elected by her peers to serve as Mayor at the March 1, 2016 meeting. She served as Mayor of Huntington Park from March 1, 2016 to March 28, 2017. She currently represents Huntington Park on the HUB Cities Consortium Board in which she is the current Board Chair.
Graciela Ortiz strives to build communities through education. She strongly believes that if our school system and communities work in collaboration, our society will strengthen and in turn improve the quality of life for all. As a Councilmember, Graciela has collaborated with all schools in the city to provide resources, opportunities and programs that will enhance the education of all children. Graciela knows that a child's education is the key to their success and the success of all our communities.