Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 58

Photo of Karla V. Salazar

Karla V. Salazar

4,603 votes (9.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Education – Collaborate with school districts and LACOE to address the skills deficits across the region.
  • Workforce Development – Increase workforce development programs and make higher education and vocational education more accessible and affordable.
  • Housing – Increase housing development for different income levels by streamlining regulation efforts that can help add to the additional housing the state needs.



Profession:Educator, Instructor, and Businessperson
Principal and Founder, SOS Strategies (2013–current)
Instructor, UCLA Extension (2014–current)
Local Boardmember, US Selective Service System — Appointed position (2007–current)
Senior Director, Nonprofit Sustainability and Arts, California Community Foundation (2017–2018)
Director, Los Angeles Program, Nonprofit Finance Fund (2010–2012)
Assistant Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Los Angeles Branch (2001–2008)


UCLA Anderson School of Management Certificate, Executive Program, Management (2008)
Claremont Graduate University Master of Arts, Public Policy (1997)
UCLA Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, concentration in International Relations, specialization in Chicana and Chicano Studies (1994)

Community Activities

Treasurer, Families In Schools (2013–current)
Community Task Force Ambassador - Trustee Area #1, Cerritos College (2016–current)
Community Council, PBS SoCal (2014–current)
PTA, Griffiths Middle School (2016–current)


Ms. Karla V. Salazar, a bilingual leader, offers over eighteen years of management experience in the public, nonprofit, and private sector. This diverse intersection of public and private industry experience has allowed her to have the ability to work effectively with multidisciplinary professional and administrative staff. Many of her client interactions are directly with Executives in the Finance, Operations, and Public Affairs departments. 

Her life mission is to contribute to a more humane world by collaborating with visionary leaders, developing and implementing transformative ideas, strengthening organizations, and being of service to our communities. The guiding principle that drives and motivates Karla as a professional and citizen of the world is her ability to empower, impact and influence individuals and organizations toward a common good.

In the public sector, she worked as an Assistant Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco - Los Angeles, Field Director for the California State Controller – Executive Office, and an Analyst at the City of Santa Monica – Finance Department. 

Since 2010, she has collaborated with nonprofit organizations such as the California Community Foundation and Nonprofit Finance Fund. Her work with nonprofits has led to directly providing financial management consulting services to over 40 nonprofit organizations throughout California along with managing the day-to-day operations including business development, relationship management, staff management and leading advisory committees.

Karla has also enhanced her professional experience by working closely with several community organizations. She is a board member of United States Selective Service System, Families In Schools and continues to be involved in several community projects. 

In 2013, she launched her financial and strategic management consulting work under SOS Strategies partnering with foundations and nonprofit organizations in Southern California. She is also a part-time instructor at UCLA Extension, teaching the online required course, the Business of Nonprofits for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Karla earned a Master of Arts Degree in Public Policy from the Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in international relations and specialization in Chicana/Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Ms. Salazar also completed the Executive Program in General Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, John E. Anderson School of Management.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (4)

What do you think the State should do to encourage affordable housing for all Californians?
Answer from Karla V. Salazar:

First and foremost, the State should encourage and support the cities to strive for their own individual solutions to address their housing needs. However, the reality is that between 2009 and 2014, California added 77,000 more households than housing units. The housing it has produced is often located far from jobs and transit, or is too expensive for low and sometimes even middle-income people to afford. California homes cost 2½ times the U.S. average and just 54 percent of California households own their homes, the third-lowest rate in the nation.

In the 58th AD, opportunities exist to create affordable developments near city centers as we have seen in Cerritos, Artesia, and Downey. We need to encourage and promote housing development by diversifying housing product types to enable a broader reach of availability, streamlining approvals for developments that include an affordable component, forming partnerships to create multiple sources of financing, and designating planning areas for affordable housing to allow increased density and height.

The reality is that well laid plans will never come to fruition unless we have consensus on how we address density and height requirements for housing development, as your state legislator, I will convene all the main key players to the negotiating table to address concerns around affordable housing, especially equity and “not in my backyard” sentiments before drafting legislation.

For many in our district, the lack of affordable housing has become a roadblock to the American dream. We need to create opportunities for safe and affordable homes for all our hard-working residents in our 58th AD.

According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Karla V. Salazar:

I would start with what the survey captures as recommendations from respondents on how to attack the issue: 1) Almost half recommend civility training classes in schools and colleges and I would add ethnic studies to learn about immigrant cultural similarities/differences and contributions that make us unique as a nation; 2) Encourage social media sites and search engines to curb fake news; and 3) Seventy-five percent of Americans believe, in order to improve civility in our nation, it starts with us. We are the role models, we must lead by example. As a nation, we need more empathy, not cruelty!

Climate changes, and the shifting between very wet weather and drought, worry Californians. What strategies would allow that your district to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Karla V. Salazar:

Water is essential to our survival as a nation and in California, agriculture uses most of our available fresh water while water availability is becoming increasingly limited. Helping to create a healthier relationship between people and food includes protecting the environment and finding sustainable ways to produce more food and increase water supplies.

As the population grows, the demand for water and energy will also rise. And if we continue with the pattern of business as usual, leading global organizations expect that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will increase in the coming years, further accelerating climate change and putting crops at potential increased risk. Alongside these complex environmental problems, by 2050 it is expected that, to meet the rising demand for food, society will either need to increase food production by 70 percent or drastically reduce the food that is currently wasted or lost.

We can’t afford a business as usual mentality, we need to explore and advance creative environmental efforts that satisfy our water, food and people needs while protecting our environment and business sector such as:

1.    Protect and conserve water supplies, especially in water-stressed areas, and help to provide access to safe water by using green infrastructure techniques, such as rain gardens, permeable soils or pavements, and green roofs, mimic natural processes to capture storm water, slow it down, absorb some of it into the ground, and filter out pollutants before releasing the remaining runoff to storm sewers or waterways.

2.    Collaborate with business sector and support their goals to achieve an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

3.    Support sustainable agriculture by identifying and sharing best practices with our growers and suppliers.

What programs or strategies would you suggest to meet the educational needs of the youngest and most poverty stricken Californians?
Answer from Karla V. Salazar:

Poverty affects education success, health, relationships, and most of all it affects the ability for humans to develop to their full potential. Thus, it is not surprising that nearly 80 percent of people in prison cannot read at an 8th grade level. The programs or strategies that I support are a comprehensive community-wide approach, culturally sensitive, and address the needs of a family that is in crisis.

For example, Head start programs (early childhood education), before and after school care assistance, free breakfast and lunch programs for all to remove poverty stigma, partnerships with businesses, organizations, and individuals in the neighborhood who can help. It is important for school districts to create a “full resource backpack,” an inventory of who in the community may be able to assist families move out of poverty. A child can’t learn if they are hungry, scared of going to school because of gang violence on their streets, afraid of abuse in the household, etc. We must operate like NASA - failure is not an option.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $17,191

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Employees of Surge Institute
Employees of SOS Strategies
Employees of dot818
Employees of Richard Beban

More information about contributions

By State:

California 91.43%
Arizona 3.30%
Massachusetts 1.65%
Texas 1.65%
Other 1.98%

By Size:

Large contributions (88.26%)
Small contributions (11.74%)

By Type:

From organizations (28.99%)
From individuals (71.01%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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