By David Scott
Abel Guillen, Trustee for Peralta Community Colleges, is running for State Assembly against Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta.
As a Trustee for the four Peralta Community Colleges – Laney College, Merritt College, Berkeley City College and the College of Alameda – Guillen has spearheaded efforts to reinvest in local community colleges, expand job and career training programs, and fight budget cuts to protect vital education programs.
First elected to the Peralta Board in 2006, he instituted a series of financial reforms and accountability measures that helped turn around the community college district and delivered six consecutive balanced budgets.
A product of local public schools, Guillen is the first person in his family to graduate from college, earning his Master’s Degree in public policy from UC Berkeley.
Growing up in the Mission District of San Francisco, Guillen learned the values of hard work, family, and community from his parents, blue collar workers who worked as a cook and a baker.
His political engagement was inspired after losing a close friend who was gunned down in the Valencia Gardens housing projects in San Francisco.
During the course of his career, Guillen has earned a reputation as someone who has stood up to corporate special interests and Wall Street banks by moving Peralta’s dollars to local community-based banks that reinvest money back into the local economy.
He has helped improve educational opportunities for students and helped protect job training and career education programs.
In the State Assembly, Abel Guillen pledges to continue to stand up for working-class families, to improve education, create jobs and invest in local communities.