Politics

Meet Corina

Corina Villaraigosa, in Daily NewsThe Daily News' Rachel Uranga lands the first story since the election about Corina Villaraigosa, "a soft-spoken educator and mother who shies away from the limelight...." Her father was a farmworker, her mother sewed all of her clothes growing up, and she graduated from what was then the Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic school in Montebello before getting degrees at Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Los Angeles (a master's in education.) Now 47, she is a survivor of thyroid cancer who picks up the kids from school and often cooks dinner.

"I am always a behind-the-scenes kind of person. I am not the one who is out there and wants to run," Corina said in gentle, yet measured tones in her first in-depth interview since the May 17 election.

"I am the one who is out helping and keeping aware and being on top of what's going on in the community."

Raised in a simple, three-bedroom home in Pico Rivera, the woman who is in line to become the city's next first lady on July 1 has never strayed far from her humble beginnings.

The 47-year-old mother of two has spent nearly two decades educating mostly poor, English-language learners in the Montebello school district. A native-Spanish speaker, she now works with the district's English-language learning students to make sure they are getting appropriate academic support.

It's a career she won't give up simply because of her new role -- and she also says she won't sacrifice the role she plays in her children's lives.

The story only briefly touches on the rough spot when she filed for divorce after revelations about an extra-marital affair.

Orlov Monday: The Central City Association, which endorsed Hahn for reelection, was the first special interest to pony up a check to pay for the Villaraigosa transition fund.


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