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There is a special election in less than a week, and for a huge portion of the San Fernando Valley it’s an important one. It’s the race for city council in District 12, to fill a seat that has been occupied by Mitch Englander, a Republican. There is no shortage of candidates trying to fill this seat; in fact, there are 15 candidates hoping to fill Englander’s seat. But only one of them should be on your progressive radar: Loraine Lundquist.

Loraine Lundquist

Loraine is incredibly impressive – she’s an astrophysicist, a CSUN professor, a mom of three kids, and amongst all of this, she is also a long-time activist who lives by progressive values.

Let’s just start by saying this: Loraine is incredibly impressive – she’s an astrophysicist, a CSUN professor, a mom of three kids, and amongst all of this, she is also a long-time activist who lives by progressive values. But what makes her, overwhelmingly, the best (and most progressive) candidate running for the District 12 City Council seat? Loraine cares about issues that deeply affect the people in District 12 and beyond. She has concrete goals: to end homelessness and the housing crisis in her district; to build a new LA economy on clean energy, rather than fossil fuels; to expand paid parental leave, and more.

Loraine has already done a lot within her community.

She is a sustainability professor at CSUN, and teaches the next generation about climate change and its tragically harmful effects. Outside the classroom, she has had a vital role in educating Valley residents about the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, which affected the community extensively, causing health problems among residents. She is one of city’s chief advocates for shutting down the harmful gas plant, and would surely bring this viewpoint to her seat on City Council.

Loraine Lundquist

Sounds like Loraine is a busy woman, right? That’s not even half of what she does for District 12 and Los Angeles as a whole. She is also the co-chair of the homelessness committee of Northridge East Neighborhood Council, and is a founding member of the West Valley Neighborhood Alliance on Homelessness. She does all this while she is a mother of 3 (recently having adopted a child she was fostering). And in 2017 she was named the Female Democrat of the Year for District Assembly 45.

With all she’s done as a citizen of District 12, imagine what she could do with the platform of a City Council seat.

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What is so incredible about Loraine is she does not build her platform based on “hot-button” topics in politics; she builds her platform on what will truly help people, and does so with an evidence-based approach. She does not choose topics to fight for arbitrarily; quite the opposite, actually.

She cares about you, me, and future generations. This is what Loraine fights for as an activist and an educator; we are who she would advocate for if she is on the City Council, too.

Absolutely, her community is who she stands for, and of course, her platform points are targeted directly to help those residing in District 12. But it is admirable and inspiring that Loraine does not stop there. The greater Los Angeles area matters to her, and LA’s climate impact on the rest of the world matters to her. She is the only candidate that has plans to implement policies that will have a positive effect on District 12 residents, Angelinos in general, and citizens of the world.

Unfortunately, I am not a resident of District 12, and so I can’t vote for Loraine. But if you can, you should. If you, like me, are outside of District 12, there are other ways you can help her campaign:

Loraine Lundquist
  • You can come out and knock on doors in the district anytime between now and the night of June 4th to tell people about Loraine, and why she’s the best candidate. Visit for more information on where to go.
  • You can donate to her grassroots campaign, which is not taking any money from corporate PACs. Donate at
  • You can spread the word! Post on social media about Loraine, and talk to your friends and neighbors.

And if you CAN vote for Loraine, do! Look up your polling place. Mail in your ballot. Your voice, as a progressive, matters in this special election. Voting for Loraine matters, because it’s the all around most progressive vote you could cast this special election – for the future of the planet, Los Angeles, and the north-western district of the San Fernando Valley.

Rebecca Gross

Rebecca Gross