• 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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Sasha Horwitz - Facilities Division

Sasha Horwitz is a Legislative Advocate with a primary focus on the Facilities Division. A proud LAUSD graduate, Sasha previously served as legislative staff to Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield, directed governmental relations for the Linked Learning Alliance, and managed the California Education Policy Fund grant program. Most recently he was the Legislative Director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Sasha earned his Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.

In his limited spare time, Sasha serves as a member of the West Sacramento Parks Recreation and Intergenerational Services Commission, as secretary to the Greenbelt Brewers Alliance homebrew club, and struggles to keep up with his energetic preschooler.

Primary Issue Areas: District Reorganization and Boundaries, Employee and Affordable Housing, Energy, Environmental Safety Standards/CEQA, Libraries, School Bonds, School Facilities (including Prop. 39), State Allocation Board, Technology/Digital Divide, and Water.

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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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Colleen Pagter

Colleen Pagter is the Coordinator of Legisative Advocacy 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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Brian Ricks

Brian Ricks serves as the Legislative Liaison in the Office of Government Relations. Brian moved to the Los Angeles Unified School District from Assemblymember Ken Cooley’s office, where he worked as the Senior Field Representative for just over nine years as a liaison between the legislature and local governments, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. He staffed select legislation while building and managing professional relationships on behalf of Assemblymember Cooley.  Brian graduated from the California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication.  Brian and his wife Kim enjoy spending time with their young daughter and infant son. 

Primary issue areas: Arts Education, Audits, Brown Act/Political Reform Act/Public Records Act, Child Abuse, School Mandates, School Nutrition, School Transportation and Vehicles, Special Education, and Student Health Wellness/Medi-Cal/Mental Health. 

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Genesis Coronado

Genesis Coronado serves as the Legislative Analyst for the Office of Government Relations. Prior to returning to the Los Angeles Unified School District, she worked as the Outreach Director for the Los Angeles Unified Redistricting Commission where she led the efforts to engage students, parents, community advocates, and other Los Angeles Unified stakeholders in the redistricting process. She is a longtime public servant with over seven years of experience in government relations, community outreach, and strategic communications and has served under the tenure of CA Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, and LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina. Genesis holds a Master degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor degree in Political Science from Occidental College. In her spare time, she enjoys going hiking and discovering the beautiful California landscapes. 

Primary issue areas: City and County local policies

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Laura Matz

Laura Matz is the Legislative Assistant 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.