RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA — The 2020 election is heating up in Los Angeles County, and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but voters will also decide the outcome of state representative and senate seats.
Closer to home, Patch has asked candidates for city council races to discuss their campaigns, publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
In Palos Verdes, Dr. Aura Imbarus is running for one of the open seats on Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Rancho Palos Verdes
Where appropriate, add specifics about office sought: i.e., State Senate District 1, State Assembly District 2, Temecula City Council District 1, etc.
Party affiliation (not needed in non-partisan races, including county, city and school offices)
My family is deceased. I have no siblings.
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Ph.D. in World Humanities, MA in American and British Lit of the 20th Century, BA in Foreign Languages; TESOL, TEFL, CLAD and Reading Certificates, Single Subject Teaching Credential; Life Coach Certification ( Mary Morrissey's Dream Builder Program); Clinical Hypnotherapy Diploma (Brian Weiss Institute)
Teacher: 22 years (high school and middle school), West High School and Le Conte Middle School; college prof: 22 years, El Camino College and LA Harbor College;
university: 2 years, "Lucian Blaga" University in Romania
Journalist: "See Beyond Magazine," Founder and Publisher
Author: "Conversations with the Past" and "Out of the Transylvania Night"
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
The single most pressing issue facing our (state, district, community, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Mental and physical health of students and staff. These are challenging times, leaving emotional scars on every one of us. At the school level, teaching on Zoom has created many issues, such as increased anxiety, depression, attempts of suicide. The lack of social interaction, the negative news, and COVID have created unbearable conditions for many of our students.
According to an article published in Psychology Today and based on a survey done by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the last week of June (one of the peak months of the pandemic) "25.5% of adults aged 18 to 24 responded that they had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days. This age group also had the highest levels of anxiety and depression of respondents — 62.9% of those 18 to 24. This is a significant increase in anxiety and depression in this age group since 2019.
In a recent study of college students, 91% reported moderate to high levels of stress, 39% reported moderate to severe anxiety, and 53% reported moderate to severe depression."
The problem can be alleviated ( not fixed, for there is a long road in front of us) by opening up the schools, taking into consideration all the required health measures.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I have been in the educational trenches for 22 years, teaching at the high school and college level. Several times I was part of the WASC committee, evaluating other schools in CA.
I have an international background, being high educated (Ph.D. in World Humanities, MA in American and British Literature, BA in Foreign Languages); I also possess a TESOL, TEFL, CLAD, and a Reading certificate, on top of a Life Coach Diploma ( Mary Morrissey's Dream Builder Program) and a hypnotherapy certificate (Weiss Institute).
In order to help out my students with issues related to self-esteem, image, depression as well as writing skills, in 2016, I started a motivational and inspirational publication called See Beyond Magazine.
I have been an educator with an entrepreneurial spirit, recognized in other circles besides education.
I bring a fresh and creative approach to lifelong learning during these challenging times.
1. MAINTAIN AND IMPROVE HIGH STANDARDS
a. Local control of our schools
b. Expanded learning opportunities for gifted students
c. Offer vocational studies for non-college-bound youth.
d. Address needs of the whole student, mentally and physically.
e. Prioritize student needs over operational wants.
f. Ensure our special needs students receive the best accommodations.
g. Enrich Performing Arts Programs by creating strategic partnerships.
a. Exercise fiscal discipline with clear budgetary controls.
b. Use of PV video stations for live broadcasts on cable tv.
c. Resident committees for a budget overview.
d. Itemize infrastructure needs.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
That's a question for her to respond. I play fairly and nicely.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
PVPUSD receives less funding per student than most other school districts in CA; therefore, creating a bridge between the private sector and the public sector would be ideal goal. We need to be considerate of the elderly population living on the peninsula on a fixed income; we cannot raise taxes or spent money on unfeasible bonds.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
If you want something to be done, give it to a busy person. I am an awarded educator, published author, and journalist. I came from another country and created my own dream in the US. I am a hard working person, who is not afraid of challenges.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Bringing my agenda into fruition.
Why should voters trust you?
Because I am in open book. Whatever they need to know about me is in the two books that I published. I don't hold back; I don't make empty promises. I deliver results.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
In 2015, the net position of the PVP USD budget was: negative $2.3 million; pension debt $80 million. In 2019, we are in the negative $40 million, pension debt $136 million. We definitely have a huge issue to solve.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was ...
Be yourself; everybody else is already taken.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I am fair, blunt, kind, engaging, considerate.