Newly elected Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic has retained the services of political consultant Mike Trujillo as a short-term communications deputy and strategist.
Closely following Vladovic’s election as Board President, the move could represent Vladovic’s intention to improve his relationship with the media.
“I think Dr. Vladovic understands that his role of being Board President means stepping into the limelight a little more, introducing and re-introducing himself to various stakeholders in LA,” Trujillo told LA School Report.
The well-known political operative has in the past mostly worked or volunteered for reform-oriented candidates and organizations, including Board member Tamar Galatzan, Parent Revolution, and Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.
But Trujillo would rather not call himself a ‘reformer.’ ”It’s just a word,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything.”
Trujillo, 34, has been involved in local politics since 2001, when he worked on Antonio Villaraigosa’s first (failed) Mayoral campaign.
And he’s certainly no stranger to the politics of LAUSD.
In 2006, he served as the political director behind State Assembly Bill 1381, which would have given Mayor Villaraigosa control over the school district had it not been ruled unconstitutional.
In 2008, Trujillo was the main liaison between the Mayor’s office and LAUSD, at a time when the office was between Deputy Mayors for Education.
And for the last year or so he served as the National Advocacy Director for Parent Revolution, the LA-based nonprofit that advocates for the parent trigger.
Trujillo also has long-standing ties to Vladovic, working as his political consultant in 2007, when Vladovic was first elected to the School Board, and again in 2011, when Vladovic was re-elected. (Trujillo also worked on Tamar Galatzan’s campaign in 2007.)
Trujillo fell victim to a mini-scandal when a blunt memo about an unrelated 2011 City Council campaign was leaked to the press. The Vladovic campaign fired Trujillo over the memo. Later that same year, however, Vladovic appointed Trujillo to the LAUSD redistricting commission.
During the 2012-2013 campaign season, Trujillo was a die-hard Wendy Greuel supporter, and volunteered for her Mayoral campaign earlier this year. He’s been quoted in LA School Report numerous times over the last year, commenting on election turnout projections, the Ratliff-Sanchez campaign and Garcetti’s reform credentials.
In the past, Vladovic has been one of the more reclusive Board members, eschewing any sort of education networking event, with the exception of the National School Boards Association’s annual conference. And when it comes to responding to the media, he has been notoriously hard to reach.