Meet Sunny Zia: Candidate for Long Beach Community College Board of Trustees, District 3

January 17, 2014, Washington, D.C. – Sunny Zia, a professional engineer in Long Beach, California, is running to represent District 3 on the Long Beach Community College (LBCC) Board of Trustees.

A first generation immigrant, Zia holds a master of science in civil engineering and has nearly two decades of experience in construction, environmental, water, and infrastructure projects. As the Contract Compliance Manager at the Port of Long Beach, she is responsible for overseeing and ensuring proper contracting practices, estimated to be at $4 billion over the next decade.

A proponent of community service, Zia has worked on addressing hate crimes and bullying, overcoming poverty through micro-lending, refugee and immigrant resettlement, and job placement of veterans and other displaced Americans. She also currently serves as the Chair of Congressman Alan Lowenthal’s Citizen Advisory Committee on Human Rights and Foreign Affairs.

“As someone who has spent nearly a decade working on national, state, and local campaigns and worked with congressional leaders on human rights and foreign affairs issues, I believe that if we want to truly shape our destinies as Iranian Americans… it is imperative that we have a seat at the table and integrate as key figures in the American society,” Zia told PAAIA.

“I have an unshakeable belief that no matter how educated or how wealthy we are as a community, we must participate in the American civic life, contribute, and eventually be regarded as other minorities who have come before us and are now viewed as key stakeholders and decision makers, not only in regard to their special interest issues, but also in regard to those affecting mainstream America.”

Asked about some of the issues facing the Long Beach Community College, Zia said that there are many critical issues, including program cuts, faculty cuts, and tuition increases due to the creation of a two tiered tuition system, increasing course fees nearly 5 folds. She believes that education shouldn’t be a privilege but a human right and accessible to all, especially those who are underserved. Zia believes in investing in the students, faculty, classified employees, and administrators at Long Beach Community College and working on partnership with all stakeholders for the success of the District.

“As someone who comes from humble beginnings and worked with refugees and at-risk youth, I understand the value of access to affordable quality education, specifically as it relates to transforming one’s life in to becoming a contributing member of society,” she said. “My commitment is to help strengthen Long Beach Community College and meet the varied educational needs of the students and help prepare them for the workforce.”

Zia’s campaign has gained significant endorsements from public officials and community leaders, including Congresswoman Janice Hahn and Congressman Keith Ellison, among many others.

Zia will be facing Stella Ursua for the District 3 seat on the Long Beach Community College (LBCC) Board of Trustees. Zia is presently the frontrunner in the race, as the incumbent decided to drop out of the race shortly after the announcement of her candidacy.

Click here to learn more about Sunny Zia’s campaign.

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