The mayor made his appointments to the board that hears appeals from employees in the city's civil service system. Former United Teachers Los Angeles president John Perez is one of them. Press release with bios follows.
MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA APPOINTS NEW BOARD OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONERS
(Los Angeles, CA) - Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa continued his efforts
to bring fairness and transparency to City government by recently
appointing five new members to the Board of Civil Service Commissioners.
The five appointees are responsible for establishing and enforcing the
civil service rules and maintaining the civil service system.
Commissioners consider appeals from discharge/suspension hearings,
discrimination complaints, background and medical disqualifications,
classification issues, and examination protests.
"My appointees represent the breadth and depth of experience and
diversity in our great city," said Mayor Villaraigosa.
The five new members of the commission include: Sylvia Drew Ivie, a
poverty and civil rights attorney; Director of LA Health Action and
health policy expert Yolanda Vega; longtime educator and past President
of the UTLA John Perez; Margaret Leal-Sotelo, a lifetime health policy
and labor advocate; and Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, a lawyer with a focus
on food quality management.
Biographies of the appointees follow:
Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz has more than 26 years experience in regulatory
affairs, providing oversight to food manufacturers, drug and device
manufacturers, and dietary supplements. She co-created a Food Safety
Training Institute in Southern California, with the Food Industry
Business Roundtable (an association of small businesses ), now in its
6th year, with volunteer-trainers from the federal, state and local
government entities, quality professionals, academia and industry to
train businesses on quality management systems, good manufacturing
practices (GMP) and sanitation control procedures. Prosy is a Senior
Member of the American Society for Quality and served as the National
Chair for the Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FDC) Division in 2000-2001.
Prosy has a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology from the University
of the Philippines and a Juris Doctor Degree from the Whittier College
School of Law. She retired from her position as Regional Administrator
for the California Dept. of Health Services, a career span of 26 years.
In 2005, Prosy, along with her husband, received the Peace and Justice
Award from UCLA's Asian American Studies Center for the couple's
combined body of work on community service of over 70 years in the areas
of leadership development, literacy, and civil rights in the US.
Margaret Leal-Sotelo has a long list of accomplishments and
professional skills in the management of large, complex and diverse
organizations. Ms. Leal-Sotelo is currently the Assistant Director at
the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships, where she is responsible for
implementing programs, forums, and projects that foster active, engaged
partnerships between the University and community based organizations in
the greater Los Angeles area.
She was previously the Chief of Staff at the University of California
Institute for Labor and Employment and the Vice-President for
Communications and Development at the Mexican American Legal Defense and
Education Fund (MALDEF.)
She has published numerous articles and research studies on nursing
homes and their levels of care. She is also a four-time winner of the
University of California award for Exceptional Performance.
Ms. Leal-Sotelo received her B.A. in Sociology from San Francisco State
University and her M.S.W. from San Jose State University's College of
Sylvia Drew Ivie
Since March of 2004, Sylvia Drew Ivie has been the Director of The
Steering Committee On The Future Of The King/Drew Medical Center. Until
February 2005, Sylvia Drew Ivie was also Executive Director of T.H.E.
(To Help Everyone) Clinic, a non-profit primary health care facility in
Los Angeles, California serving primarily African American, Latino, and
Asian Pacific Islander patients and their families. A staff of 100 is
able to serve patients in ten languages.
Prior to her work at T.H.E. Clinic, Ms. Ivie practiced poverty and
civil rights law with the National Health Law Program in Los Angeles,
the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York and the U.S. Office for Civil
Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington,
Through participation with the Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on
the Future of Medicaid and the Uninsured, President Clinton's Advisory
Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care
Industry and the California Women's Health Council, Ms. Ivie has
continued to work on health policy analysis and reform. She was recently
appointed to Centers for Disease Control Blue Ribbon Panel on evaluating
efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care.
In March 2004 she took a partial leave of absence from T.H.E. Clinic,
Inc. to work as Project Director of the Steering Committee on the Future
of the King Drew Medical Center.
Yolanda Vera serves as the Director of LA Health Action, a project of
Community Partners funded by The California Endowment. She directs the
California Endowment's Los Angeles Access to Health Initiative, the
goal of which is to increase health care coverage for uninsured,
low-income children and families in Los Angeles County. She leads the
activities of the Los Angeles Health Collaborative, a group of
approximately 50 diverse private and public organizations and agencies
dedicated to preserving and improving Los Angeles County's health care
safety net. She also serves on the eight person Steering Committee of
the Child Health Initiative of Greater Los Angeles, a three year
expansion of health coverage for children without health insurance in
Los Angeles County. Prior to LA Health Action, Ms. Vera served as the
Senior Health Policy Attorney of Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS).
Yolanda also worked for the Western Center on Law & Poverty, National
Immigration Law Center, the National Health Law Program and the Legal
Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. She was recognized by American Lawyer
Magazine in 1997 as one of the country's top 45 public sector lawyers
under age 45. She is a 1987 graduate of the UCLA School of Law where
she received the University Fellowship Award and from which she received
the 2001 UCLA Law School Public Interest Award. In 1983, she graduated
from Loyola Marymount University (B.A. English) where she received the
Marian Award for outstanding leadership and was a commencement speaker.
Educated in the Los Angeles area, John Patrick Perez was an LAUSD
teacher for 36 years, before recently retiring. He has spent his life
advocating for schools and educators serving as a United Teachers Los
Angeles (UTLA) member for over 30 years and as UTLA President from
His distinguished service in the UTLA included 14 years as a member of
the UTLA Board of Directors, five years as the UTLA secondary
Vice-President and seven years as Vice-President.
Mr. Perez also served as Vice-President of the California Federation of
Labor, AFL-CIO from 2002-2005. Mr. Perez was the Vice-President of the
California Federation of Teachers (CFT) for four years, while serving as
a member of the CFT for 25.
Mr. Perez also serves on the Board of Directors for People for Parks, a
civic organization dedicated to working with others in our community to
increase the amount of parkland in the city of Los Angeles
Mr. Perez received both his B.A. and teaching credential from San
Fernando Valley State College (now California State