Glendora Unified Board Member Cory Ellenson has officially announced his intentions Wednesday morning to run for the 48th district of the California State Assembly.
The 29-year-old former federal tax attorney and life-long Glendoran will vie for the seat to be vacated by Roger Hernandez, whose term ends in 2016. Ellenson announced his candidacy via social media and his website, coryellenson.com.
GCN sat down for an interview in Ellenson’s home Oct. 2.
“Very recently I found out there would be an open seat on the 2016 48th assembly district race, that piqued my interest, because of the impact I could have on public education policy statewide,” Ellenson said.
Education, jobs, workforce development and local control for school districts are three of the many priorities Ellenson outlines in his campaign.
Ellenson said Sacramento politics have led to California’s education system being ranked No. 46 nationally and at the bottom in per student funding. While Education Week paints a slightly rosier picture in January of the state’s overall performance at No. 42, the situation is still dire.
Increasing per student funding is one of the cornerstones of success, Ellenson said.
“It’s no surprise that when you look across the United States, the states with the highest ranking public school districts are the ones that invest the most in their students,” Ellenson said. “They invest almost twice as much as what we do.”
Ellenson also wants to focus on increasing trade and vocational careers (such as welding, drafting and HVAC jobs) and career technical education, which he believes would increase economic development at a time when college students struggle to find work after graduation.
“We hear that the economy is improving and they show us the metrics of the economy improving but people don’t feel it.
“Sacramento politicians have led us to the bottom in several different areas … and the highest test of taxation, unemployment and poverty of any state. These are glaring failures and the people of California deserve better,” Ellenson said.
Ellenson touts his passion for education and the students by being a frequent sight around Glendora schools with the mock city council program, YES City Gov started by he and Glendora Council member Judy Nelson and by speaking with parents, students, teachers and by maintaining strong lines of communication with the Glendora Teachers Association.
Ellenson has also served as treasurer of the Glendora Kiwanis Club and as board member of the Glendora Education Foundation.
“My number one priority is serving the students of our community and I will take that service wherever I have to to be impactful.”
In addition to being a school board member, Ellenson is a small business owner, working from home under Ellenson Legal and Financial Services, dealing with tax controversy and legal representation.