Paula Amezola, MPH
Term of Office: 12/1/20-11/30/24
Paula Amezola, the first Bilingual Latina elected to the Culver City School Board, has dedicated 20 years of her professional life to public health. Whether she is engaged in research, program evaluation, advocacy or career development, Paula has centered her work around access and equity issues, specifically as they relate to underserved communities.
This is just as true in her civic life. In our city, Paula has championed a number of significant social justice issues. As a founding member of Culver City Action Network (CCAN), she successfully advocated for Culver City to become a Sanctuary City; we now have a city-wide policy that prohibits our police from turning over arrested individuals to ICE. As a founding member of Protect Culver City Renters, she successfully advocated for Culver City to adopt permanent rent control and strong tenant protections. During her time as a commissioner for the Parks, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS), Paula organized two community conversations. In the first, “Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe”, teen peer educators led a workshop on sexual violence for teens, addressing how to recognize and stop the cycle that enables this unacceptable behavior, and how to advocate for consent culture. In the second, PRCS partnered with the Advisory Committee on Homelessness to facilitate a community conversation “The Past, Present and Future of Housing in Culver City” to discuss the displacement of families in Culver City because of unaffordable housing and how this might be addressed.
Paula believes affordable housing can create the conditions for high quality educational opportunities for students, healthier communities, shorter commutes, and a stronger economic foundation for Culver City. Paula and her husband were first attracted to Culver City when they were looking for affordable housing and excellent bilingual educational programs in West LA, back when housing was affordable in the city. They have had the privilege of raising their two children in Culver City, both of whom benefited from being CCUSD students from K-12 (class of 2017 and 2022).
Given Paula’s background, she deeply appreciated the positive experiences her children had in the CCUSD Schools. Growing up, Paula attended nine different schools, shuttling back and forth between the US and Mexico nearly every year in response to the financial pressures and strains her parents faced. She lived in extreme poverty, lacked educational opportunities, and the English language also presented a barrier. Despite these obstacles, she made her way through the UC system, receiving a B.S. in Genetics from UC Davis and a M.P.H. in Epidemiology from UCLA. Along the way, Paula was fortunate enough to have had teachers who recognized and fostered her potential and parents who fought for her to be included in college preparatory and honors classes. These experiences left her with a deep sense of the value of equity in education. Paula knows how important it is for each and every student to receive the nurturing and support that leads to success and, where, in the words of the Reverend Raphael Warnock, "your income does not determine your outcome." Paula Amezola believes that together we can build a community of learning for everyone and she understands that our school district budget is a reflection of our values.