Parent, Activist, Community Leader and L.A.'s Former Ethics Watchdog Serena Oberstein Announces Bid for L.A. City Council District 12

NORTHRIDGE, CA -- Today, former Los Angeles City Ethics Commission President Serena Oberstein formally announced her campaign to represent the people of the 12th District on the Los Angeles City Council. A wife and mother of two young children, who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Oberstein has dedicated her career to fighting for working people, children and families, more transparency and accountability in city government, and the people of her community.

In officially jumping into the race for CD-12, former City Ethics Commissioner Serena Oberstein remarked:

"When the FBI comes knocking at City Hall's door, it's clear we need real change. As the past president of the City Ethics Commission, I'll work hard to root out corruption wherever it exists and fight to advance more common sense policies that put people over politics and the interests of Angelenos over big money.

"It's time that we have a city government that better reflects the people, neighborhoods and ideals of our community. I'm running for City Council to fight for all of the people in the 12th District -- women and men, children and families, and to build safer, healthier and stronger Valley neighborhoods."

In her announcement, Oberstein said she would shepherd in a new era of ethics, transparency and accountability in city government. 

"I'll fight hard every day to restore trust in our government," she said. "What our communities need - and deserve - is vision to improve public safety, address the crisis of homelessness, modernize our outdated infrastructure and rapidly improve delivery of city services. We must protect the character of Valley neighborhoods while building a thriving middle class economy that is sadly disappearing." 

Serena Oberstein was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley attending public schools before launching a career to fight for her community. She has spent nearly two decades creating solutions on the local, state and federal level in the nonprofit and public sectors. 

She served as president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, which she was appointed to in 2014 by Councilmember Mitchell Englander. She helped lead an Ethics Commission that worked to provide greater transparency on campaign finance reform, elections and proactive accountability for those violating L.A. City Ethics Code.  

Serena was the Chief Operating Officer for Vision to Learn, a national nonprofit organization that provides free eye exams and free eyeglasses to students in need. Oberstein oversaw strategic growth and service delivery across 10 states and 75 school districts equipping thousands of children in high-need communities with glasses so they can lead more successful lives. She previously worked as the Southern California Regional Director of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and is currently a consultant for nonprofits focusing on strategic growth and capacity building.  

Serena served her community as a policy analyst and neighborhood liaison in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office. She also has experience working on campaigns for candidates running for federal, state and local office.  

Oberstein holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego and a Master in public administration degree from New York University Wagner School of Public Service. 

She and her husband live in Northridge with their two young daughters and dog, Huck.

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Paid for by Serena Oberstein for LA City Council 2019