Kate Anderson

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Kate Anderson
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Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District, District 4
Former Candidate
J.D.University of Chicago
ProfessionCommunity activist/homemaker
Personal website
(dead link) Campaign website
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Kate Anderson was a 2013 candidate seeking election to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board representing District 4. She was defeated by District 4 incumbent Steve Zimmer in the March 5, 2013 primary election.[1]

She ran as a Democratic candidate for District 53 of the California State Assembly in 2010.


Anderson is a community activist and homemaker; she previously worked as an attorney at the firm of Munger, Tolles, and Olson. She has served on the Mar Vista Community Council since 2008.[2]

While attending UCLA, Anderson worked in Congressman Henry Waxman's (D) office. After earning her law degree she clerked on the D.C. Circuit and worked for Congressman Waxman as Counsel for the Government Reform and Oversight Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. She later worked for Congresswoman Jane Harman (D).[3]


  • Graduate, UCLA
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School



See also: Los Angeles Unified School District elections (2013)

Anderson ran in the 2013 election for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board, representing District 4. Anderson faced incumbent Steve Zimmer and Jeneen Robinson (write-in) in the primary election on March 5, 2013. Zimmer received the majority of the vote, canceling the need for a runoff election on May 21, 2013.[1]

Los Angeles Unified School District 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Kate Anderson 48.3% 38,063
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Zimmer Incumbent 51.7% 40,716
Total Votes 78,779
Source: Office of the City Clerk of Los Angeles These results are final.


  • California Charter Schools Association[4]
  • Coalition for School Reform[5]
  • Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl[6]
  • Los Angeles Daily News[7]
  • Los Angeles Times[8]
  • Actress Eva Longoria[9]
  • Westside Village Zone Director and Mar Vista Community Councilman Ken Alpern[10]
  • Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan[11]
  • Musician and founder of the Show Me Campaign John Legend[12]


Candidate Campaign contributions Personal funds Indpt. expenditures in support Indpt. expenditures opposed
Kate Anderson $250,925 $25,000 $1,139,324.67 $438,933.68
Steve Zimmer $82,406.50 $0 $618,493.59 $319,512.12
Jeneen Robinson (write-in) $26,284.43 $0 $0 $0
Campaign contributions and personal funds as reported through February 27, 2013 in the required filings with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Independent expenditures are continually updated by the Commission. They were last updated here March 5, 2013. Source: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission[13]

Campaign literature

During the 2013 campaign, Anderson registered 42 pieces of campaign literature with the City of Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. The campaign literature included 27 emails, 8 mailers, 5 telephone scripts, 1 flyer, and 1 yard sign.[14]

Among independent expenditure groups, the Coalition for School Reform, the California Charter School Association's independent expenditure committee, the Bloomfield for Congress Committee, and Richard Riordan registered mailers, telephone scripts, TV ad scripts, and a radio ad script in support of Anderson. Political action committees affiliated with the United Teachers Los Angeles registered mailers opposing Anderson.[15]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Anderson was a 2010 candidate for District 53 of the California State Assembly. She was defeated in the June 8 Democratic primary by Betsy Butler.[16]

California State Assembly, District 53 Democratic Primary, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBetsy Butler 26.7% 9,050
James T. Lau 18.2% 6,183
Nick Kamo 14.3% 4,849
Mitch Ward 13.6% 4,617
Kate Anderson 11.9% 4,035
Peter Luke Thottam 5.8% 1,985
Edgar Saenz 5.3% 1,803
Diane M. Wallace 4.2% 1,410
Total Votes 33,932


Campaign themes


Anderson posted the following themes on her campaign website:[17]

  • Building Great Schools for LAUSD Kids & Parents
Excerpt: "The key is creating schools that communities can be proud of -- both traditional public schools with more local control and charter public schools that give parents much-needed choices. We especially need to work harder creating more middle schools that parents feel good about. By engaging parents and other stakeholders and bringing more decision-making and flexibility to the schools themselves, we can create a public system that all parents can feel good about."
  • Supporting Terrific Teachers
Excerpt: "The School Board must encourage the district to implement a multiple measure evaluation system that gives teachers what they need: more support in the classroom and tailored professional development. We need to stop wasting teachers’ time with professional development that isn’t useful to them and paperwork that they shouldn’t have to do."
  • Investing in Education and Our Children
Excerpt: "We are doing our children a disservice by underfunding their education. This must change and I support finding ways to bring more revenue to the system. But it is not just about how much money we spend, it is also about how we spend it."


The following questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles:[18]

1. What is the single most important issue facing LAUSD today? As a Board Member, what would you do to deal with it?[18]

"Los Angeles schools were once the envy of the nation; everyone felt good sending their kid to public school. It is not that way now but it can be that way again. Every child deserves an terrific teacher and a strong learning community and right now, LAUSD does not do nearly enough to ensure either. Our current system of evaluating and supporting teachers is broken and we have far too much bureaucratic control and not enough local control. I would change both. I would also use the skills and experience I learned on the Oversight Committee in Congress to make sure that our money is being spent well and that every dollar possible is making it to the classroom."

2. How would you prioritize your local constituency in overseeing LAUSD management, setting District policy, and day-to-day decision-making?[18]

"I believe that the job of a school board member is to set policy and provide constituent services to stakeholders in the district. I do not believe that board members should, as a general matter, be involved in the day-to-day decision-making of the district."

3. What experience in general management, fiscal management, and budgetary oversight would you bring to the job of Board Member?[18]

"I have experience both in the private sector and in government. Specifically, I worked for Congressman Henry Waxman on the Government Reform and Oversight Committee conducting oversight of the executive branch. This experience will help me in ensuring that that LAUSD is spending our tax dollars efficiently."

4. How should LAUSD deal with its rapidly increasing costs for retiree and employee health care?[18]

"This is a complicated and difficult issue facing not just LAUSD but the city, state, and nation. We need to be thoughtful and considered in balancing the needs of our employees with the costs involved. I would be happy to discuss the complexities and nuances of this issue with anyone; please email or call my campaign office to discuss it further."

5. What part should standardized testing play in LAUSD's educational programs?[18]

"As a parent, I am concerned about any educational program that would lead to teaching to a narrow test. I believe that arts, physical activity, and life skills that cannot necessarily be measured are essential to a good education. That said, well-designed tests that are measuring important skills are useful tools in understanding how students are progressing. In the right context, appropriate tests should play a role in an educational program."

Arts for LA survey

Anderson completed the candidate survey from Arts for LA, a group advocating greater investment in the arts. Asserting that the district needs "a systematic way to introduce standards based art into our schools," she proposed to "insur[e] that there is an art teacher in each school" as "a step in the right direction."[19]

Candidate forum

On January 24, 2013, Anderson and incumbent Steve Zimmer participated in a candidate forum, where they both gave statements and took questions.[20] The event was well-attended, with supporters on both sides present. A video of the entire event may be found on YouTube.[21] The LA School Report has also written a text summary of the forum, which may be accessed via the LA School Report website.[22] Write-in candidate Jeneen Robinson was not invited to attend this forum.[23]


Anderson and her husband, Peter, have twin girls. They live in Los Angeles.[3]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 The Los Angeles Times, "LA Primary results," accessed March 6, 2013
  2. Venice-MarVista, "Kate Anderson Prepares to Run Against Steve Zimmer," December 3, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kate Anderson, " Meet Kate," accessed February 23, 2013 (dead link)
  4. CCSA Advocates Independent Expenditure Committee's Form 462, January 29, 2013
  5. Coalition for School Reform, "Why we support Kate Anderson," accessed February 13, 2013
  6. LA School Report, "Kate Anderson: Early Endorsement, Signatures," November 21, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2013
  7. Los Angeles Daily News, "Editorial endorsements: Three for LAUSD board - and for education reform," February 23, 2013
  8. Los Angeles Times, "For L.A. school board," February 15, 2013
  9. Shyam Dodge, Daily Mail Mail Online, "It worked for Obama! Now politics fan Eva Longoria lends her voice to local Los Angeles politician," February 20, 2013
  10. Ken Alpern, CityWatch, "Election 2013: Kate Anderson Is Good for Your Children and Good for Our Future," February 19, 2013
  11. Anderson for School Board press release, February 26, 2013 (dead link)
  12. Tweetwood screenshot of @johnlegend Twitter account, February 28, 2013
  13. Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, 2013 Municipal and LAUSD Election Disclosures
  14. LAUSD District 4 campaign literature, LA City Ethics Commission
  15. LAUSD District 4 independent expenditures related to Kate Anderson, LA City Ethics Commission
  16. California Secretary of State, "2010 primary election results," accessed February 16, 2013
  17. Kate Anderson for School Board, 2013, "Issues." Retrieved February 15, 2013 (dead link)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Candidates' answers to questions from the League of Women Voters
  19. Arts for LA Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: LA Unified School Distrct
  20. Los Angeles Daily News, "LAUSD board candidates to appear at forums," January 19, 2013
  21. California Participation Project, "Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Candidate Forums," accessed February 14, 2013
  22. LA School Report, "Westside Forum: Charters, Evaluation, Deasy," accessed January 25, 2013
  23. Argonaut, "Westchester: Write-in candidate blasts organizers of LAUSD school board forum," January 31, 2013