By Alejandro Nicolas / Staff Writer and Nick Steele / Sports Editor
The vibrant crowd of young and successful friends, family and volunteers for Area 3 candidate Stella Ursua quickly turned into a collective anxiety, while opposing candidate Sunny Zia won the LBCC Board seat in the unofficial results Tuesday, April 8.
The final unofficial results at 1:31 Wednesday morning had Zia at 59.76 percent ahead of Ursua who gained 40.24 percent.
The small gathering in the living room of Ursua’s Ocean Boulevard apartment was electrified with excitement when the vote-by-mail results came in.
The smell of Hawaiian style Portuguese bean soup filled the home and young volunteers gathered outside on the balcony talking politics.
Ursua said, almost disheartened, “I don’t want to look.”
Volunteer Rondii Colson said, “I like what Stella stands for. She makes a difference for people.”
Ursua said, “I want to reinvest into a lot of the programs that were cut and also bring new programs that will bring new jobs. If I lose, I will continue with my non-profit called Green Education Inc. and educate residents and businesses how to be energy efficient and sustainable.”
Marcia Tolentino, Ursua’s spouse, said, “It was amazing what we did with the budget we had.”
Zia gathered at El Torito on the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Candlewood Street in the Lakewood mall. Around 30 people attended. Greg Slaughter, candidate for Area 5, attended as well.
Zia discussed her politics enthusiastically stating that she plans to re-establish the 11 vocational programs cut in 2013.
“My main focus is the students. The burden shouldn’t be on the them.”
Gabor Vass, former LBCC teacher who was previously laid off during the budget cuts, estimated, “4,000 young people will lose jobs due to the cutting of LBCC’s vocational programs.”
Zia mentioned how less fortunate students are at a loss regarding AB955, the 2-tiered fee structure for some Winter and Summer classes.
“They may be gangbangers, but they still want to be in school.”