• Meet The Team

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Martha Alvarez

Martha Alvarez serves as Director of Legislative Affairs and Government Relations. She leads the Office of Government Relations, which advances the budget and policy interests of the nation’s second largest school district in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Prior to joining Los Angeles Unified, Martha worked as a Legislative Advocate for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the country. Martha has also served as the Director of Government Relations for the San Diego Unified School District where she led all fiscal and education policy advocacy efforts. Martha serves on the Stanford Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a co-founder of the Sacramento Latina Leaders Network.  She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in education policy, organization and leadership from Stanford University.

Supervises all local, state and federal legislative activities. Primary Issue Areas: State Budget (School Finance, LCFF, Prop. 98), Charter Schools, Elections and Ballot Initiatives, Governing Boards (Brown Act and Political Reform), Legislative Reports, Lottery, Parent & Community Involvement, Special Education, and Tax Policy.

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Deborah Bautista Zavala

Deborah Bautista Zavala serves as a Legislative Advocate. Prior to joining Los Angeles Unified in 2020, Deborah served as a Legislative Aide at the California State Assembly for various legislators including Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Nora Campos, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and most recently Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. In February of 2018, the City of Woodland awarded Bautista Zavala as their 2018 Community Service Award recipient for her contributions to the Woodland community. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Chicana/o Studies and Spanish from University of California, Davis and received her Master’s Degree in Education from California State University, Sacramento. Deborah and her partner Rolando Pimentel are raising their two young daughters in Woodland and are committed to their community.

Primary Issue Areas: Alternative Education/Community Schools, Assessments/Testing, Audits, Attendance/Truancy/SARBs, Classified Employees, Certificated Employees, Class Size Reduction, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Curriculum, Standards & Frameworks, Graduation Requirements/Dropout Prevention, Independent Study, Instructional Materials, Physical Education/Athletics, Public School Employee Pensions (PERS/STRS), Pupil Services (Academic Counseling), School Choice (District of Choice/Open Enrollment), and Online Learning.

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Laura Matz

Laura Matz is the Senior Secretary and has been with the Los Angeles Unified School District since 2009.  She manages the daily responsibilities of the office and supports the Director and Legislative Advocates in Sacramento.  She is very familiar with the California legislative process and supports special projects including the completion of an annual legislative report. Before joining the Government Relations Team, Laura worked at a private lobbying firm in a similar capacity. Laura is an avid runner, completing over thirty ultra-marathons since 2011.

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Colleen Pagter

Colleen Pagter is the Legislative Liaison responsible for conducting research and analysis on federal and state legislative issues as well as conducting critical assessments of the effect of legislation on District policies, programs, and procedures. Colleen has over 10 years of experience in government and legislative affairs. Before joining LAUSD, she worked for the Government and Legislative Affairs Division with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s (RR/CC) office. Previously, Colleen worked at the New York City Council, first as a Legislative Analyst in the Speakers Policy Unit and then as a Legislative Policy Analyst for the Council’s Legislative Division. Colleen received a Bachelor degree in Political Science from UCLA and a Master degree in Public Administration from New York University.

Primary Issue Areas: Accountability (API, Dashboard, LCAP, SARC, SPSA), Adult Education/ROCP, After School/Extracurricular, Campus Safety, School Climate, Career Technical Education/STEM, Discipline (Suspension/Expulsions), Discrimination/UCP/OCR/Title IX, Early Childhood Education, English Language Learners, Foster and Homeless Youth, Higher Education, Immigration, Pupil Records/Data Systems/Privacy, State Board of Education/Waivers, and Williams Settlement.

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Olga Shilo - Facilities Division

Olga Shilo serves as a Legislative Advocate with a primary focus on the Facilities Division among other issues.  In her most recent role as the Capitol Director for Assemblymember Brian Maienschein she managed staff and led all legislative efforts in the Capitol Office. Her other experience includes working for other members in the Legislature and the California Association of Health Plans. Olga completed her undergraduate degree at California State University, Sacramento where she earned her Bachelor’s in International Relations. There she also participated in the Sacramento Semester Internship program which led to the start of her career in California politics. Olga also earned a Master’s of Science in Law at McGeorge School of Law with a focus on Government and Politics. Along with raising her son, she enjoys participating in the Ukrainian community events, spending quality time with family and friends, traveling, and reading.

Primary Issue Areas: Arts Education, Child Abuse, District Reorganization and Boundaries, Energy, Environmental Safety Standards/CEQA, Facilities (including CTE Facilities), Libraries, Local Government, Mandates, Public Records, School Bonds, School Nutrition, State Allocation Board, Student Health Wellness, Medi-Cal & Mental Health, Technology, and Transportation/Vehicles.