Lani Cupchoy

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Lani Cupchoy
Lani Cupchoy.jpg
Montebello Unified School Board, At-large
Term ends
November 2017
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of California-Los Angeles
Master'sCalifornia State University-Los Angeles
Campaign website
Lani Cupchoy is a member-elect for an at-large seat on the Montebello School Board. She first won election against five other candidates on November 5, 2013.


Cupchoy earned a B.A. in History from the University of California-Los Angeles. She later earned a M.A. in History from California State University-Los Angeles. Cupchoy is currently completing her doctoral work at the University of California-Irvine. She has been an instructor at UC-Irvine as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District.[1]



See also: Montebello Unified School District elections (2013)


Cupchoy ran against incumbents Hector A. Chacon, Benjamin Cardenas and Gerri Guzman along with challengers Sonia Saucillo-Valencia and Frank Thomas Morales on November 5, 2013.


Montebello Unified School Board, Full terms, November 5, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngHector A. Chacon Incumbent 23.4% 4,440
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBenjamin Cardenas Incumbent 22.7% 4,305
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLani Cupchoy 19.6% 3,717
     Nonpartisan Gerri Guzman Incumbent 19.1% 3,635
     Nonpartisan Sonia Saucillo-Valencia 8.6% 1,642
     Nonpartisan Frank Thomas Morales 6.7% 1,265
Total Votes 19,004
Source: Los Angeles County Clerk, "NOVEMBER 5, 2013 - LOCAL & MUNI CONSOLIDATED ELECTION Final Official Election Returns" accessed December 18, 2013


Cupchoy did not report any contributions or expenditures to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.


Cupchoy received the following endorsements during her 2013 campaign:[2]

  • Montebello Teachers Association
  • Bell Gardens Police Officers Association
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor-Committee on Political Education (COPE)
  • American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees California District Council 36
  • The City of Commerce Model City Democratic Club

Campaign themes


Cupchoy explained her reasons for running in 2013 in an interview with EGP News:[3]

I am running to fulfill my lifelong commitment to our community and district that has earned me the support of teachers. My unique experience as an educator, daughter of educators, and former M.U.S.D. student, will guide me in reallocating funds from the District level to the classroom to support programs and services that directly benefit students and the people who serve them daily.

What was at stake?

Controversial campaign mailer

A campaign committee called the Voters for Good Government sent out a mailer prior to the election pointing out domestic violence charges against Gerri Guzman in September 2012. The mailer included a copy of the arrest record from Los Angeles County, a mug shot and text connecting the arrest to Guzman's failures as a board member. Guzman was never prosecuted in connection with the charges due to lack of evidence. She expressed disappointment that the mailer attempted to use domestic violence as a campaign issue. Voters for Good Government was registered to local political operative David Gould.[4]

About the district

Montebello Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California
Montebello Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Montebello is 62,500.[5]


Montebello lagged behind state rates for higher education achievement, median income and poverty according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with Bachelor's degrees (16.7%) was lower than the state average (30.2%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated a median income of $52,496 in Montebello and $61,632 for California. Montebello had a poverty rate of 15% in 2010 while California's poverty rate was 14.4%.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2010[5]
Race Montebello (%) California (%)
White 53.8 57.6
Black or African American 0.9 6.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 1 1
Asian 11 13
Native Hawaiian 0.1 0.4
Two or More Races 3.7 4.9
Hispanic or Latino 79.3 36.7

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[6]

Recent news

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