Meet Cindy Wu, running for Board of Education in the Mountain View School District, California
This school district serves the cities of El Monte and South El Monte.
Cindy says that board members oversee the entire budget of the schools— which can sometimes be larger than the entire city’s budget! Cindy, along with four other board members act as one voice to guide the superintendent and the overall course of the school district. We learned that there are eight schools within the district and over 50% of the children are English learners. The district is 94% Hispanic, 5% Asian, and less than 1% Caucasian and African American.
Being involved in leadership throughout high school and college, Cindy has always been interested in public policy. She served on student government and says that being involved in these leadership roles has given her a better understanding of how real change is made. While in her role as a planning commissioner for the city, Cindy learned that she could be the voice for 30% of the residents within her community! This is when she got a spark of motivation to become a representative for her school district— especially since it is the most underserved in her city. She currently serves El Monte and South El Monte and with a total of over 160,000 residents, there are many students that fall under her representation. Cindy realized that every path she had taken in the past 20 years had led her to this position where she can focus on the most underserved populations in her community. She knows that every step along the way— good or bad, was important and necessary to bring her to where she is today. Cindy uses the knowledge gained from her past challenges to guide her through her current leadership role today.
Cindy says that she is a public servant, not a politician. While it is not easy, Cindy believes that serving on her current board is fulfilling and exciting, especially when she is seeing the district reach new goals. We learned that Cindy and her board members turned this district from one of the lowest performing to one of the top school districts in the San Gabriel Valley. Just last year, they hired a new superintendent with new goals, new visions, and new ways of implementing success. Diversity and inclusion is a major goal for this district moving forward.
We learned that the community of South El Monte is extremely family oriented, with many community programs to bring families together. There are weekly events for children and seniors where affordable food is offered along with fun activities! Cindy also told us about El Monte’s prime location and how it is well-connected to many parts of Los Angeles. She sees it as an up and coming area on the edge of progress and success!
Cindy has a chihuahua named Buddy and loves to travel and see the world. She has visited 35 countries worldwide. Her next goal is to see South Africa. She has even lived and worked in Australia, Japan, China, and the U.S.! Cindy also told us that she used to be a pageant director and coach— she says that people often tell her to start a podcast to speak about all of her various life adventures! Cindy aims to make a positive difference in every space that she enters in her life and to pay it forward in everything she does.