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Uduak-Joe Ntuk

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Uduak-Joe Ntuk
Uduak-Joe Ntuk.jpg
Former candidate for
Board member, Long Beach Board of Education, District 1
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 8, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolSt. Anthony High School
Associate'sLong Beach City College
Bachelor'sCalifornia State University at Long Beach
Master'sUniversity of Southern California
OtherCalifornia State University at Long Beach
Campaign website
Uduak-Joe Ntuk campaign logo
Uduak-Joe Ntuk was a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Long Beach school board in California. He lost the general election on April 8, 2014 to Megan Kerr.


Uduak-Joe Ntuk is a resident of North Long Beach, California. Ntuk graduated from St. Anthony High School in Long Beach before earning his A.A. degree in liberal arts from Long Beach City College, his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from California State University at Long Beach, his M.S. degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Southern California and a certificate in global logistics from California State University at Long Beach.[1]

In his career, he has worked for Earth Tech, General Electric, Chevron and California State University at Long Beach. He is employed by the municipal government of Long Beach as a petroleum engineer. Ntuk has volunteered in the Long Beach school district for the past decade as a PTA officer, chaperone, district committee representative and public speaker.[2]



See also: Long Beach Unified School District elections (2014)


Uduak-Joe Ntuk lost to fellow newcomer Megan Kerr for the District 1 seat in the general election on April 8, 2014.


Long Beach Unified School District, District 1 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMegan Kerr 50.7% 3,912
     Nonpartisan Uduak-Joe Ntuk 49.3% 3,804
Total Votes 7,716
Source: Long Beach, California, "Long Beach Primary Nominating Election," accessed June 17, 2014


The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk does not publish and freely disclose school board candidate campaign finance reports. Ballotpedia staffers directly requested this information, but the municipal office refused those requests to make that information public.[3] On March 28, 2014, Gazettes published an article that included a limited amount of campaign finance data for the Long Beach election. According to that article, District 1 candidates Ntuk and Megan Kerr raised approximately $65,000 and $30,000 in contributions each, respectively.[4]


Ntuk received endorsements from the Democratic Party in Long Beach, Los Angeles County and the California state party. He also received endorsements from Progressive Majority, PowerPAC+ and The Press-Telegram in Long Beach. Multiple labor organizations endorsed him, including the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and local affiliates from the American Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, Teamsters, International Association of Machinists, Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Long Beach board member Felton Williams and a variety of elected officials from across Long Beach endorsed Ntuk, as well.[5]

Campaign themes


Ntuk published a list of his priorities on his campaign website:[6]

Reducing Classroom Sizes

The District has laid off 600 teachers and 1000 staffers in recent years, class sizes have soared, and children have suffered. We need to reverse that trend.

Improving Math and Science Education

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields are an exciting and growing sector that offers high quality careers paths for our children. The US Department of Commerce projects that STEM occupations will grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth from non-STEM occupations. STEM workers also command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts. A college or associate degree in science or technology is required to enter this field of work.

Creating More Job Opportunities

The LBUSD Board of Education has a responsibility to also be a good employer and community economic development partner, outside of being a great educational institution. Our young people are the future workforce, homeowners and tax base of our City. We must invest in them and the community to ensure we have a fair and equitable future. With 14% unemployment in North Long Beach, we must work together to create more job opportunities. The school district is our largest local employer; we need to make sure that local residents and small businesses are first in line for jobs and contracts.

Leadership in Clean and Green Schools

All of the Long Beach Unified School District’s (LBUSD) 84 schools have earned US EPA Energy Star Certification as part of an conservation effort that has saved $29.1 million since 2003. Buildings that earn the Energy Star use 35 percent less energy and generate 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than similar buildings across the nation. This conservation effort has included stringent tracking of bills to spot anomalies and prevent waste, and site and meter audits with careful tracking via a software program. The school district corrected billing errors, modified behaviors through reminder notes to employees, calibrated equipment and time of use for optimal efficiency and used new technology such as more efficient light bulbs and Internet-controlled energy management systems.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Three seats on the school board were up for election on April 8, 2014. Newcomers Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr competed for the vacant District 1 seat while incumbent Diana F. Craighead ran unopposed to keep her District 5 seat. Board President John McGinnis fended off a challenge from Juan Benitez to keep his District 3 seat.

Issues in the election

Accusations of dishonesty

In the month prior to the District 1 election, both Uduak-Joe Ntuk and Megan Kerr made statements claiming that the other was dishonest. Ntuk criticized Kerr's campaign for falsely claiming that she holds a Master's degree. On an online profile created by the League of Women Voters, Kerr was attributed with an M.A. degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. Kerr campaign representative Katy Stanton also claimed during an interview with The Press-Telegram that Kerr holds a Master's degree from California State University at Long Beach, which Kerr later denied. On her campaign website, Kerr clarified that she has studied for a graduate degree at Pacific Oaks College but that she has not completed all of the necessary requirements to receive one.[7]

Ntuk also faced allegations of dishonesty from the Kerr campaign regarding endorsements. Ntuk's campaign used his website and thousands of robocalls to publicize an endorsement from AFT Local 1521, which is a local affiliate of the national American Federation of Teachers union. The Teachers Association of Long Beach, which endorsed Kerr and is affiliated with the National Education Association, denounced Ntuk's statements as an attempt to mislead voters into believing that the national union had endorsed him. Campaign spokesman Roy Behr defended Ntuk by arguing, "It was very clear that he had been endorsed by AFT Local 1521."[8]

About the district

See also: Long Beach Unified School District, California
Long Beach Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California
Long Beach Unified School District is located in Los Angeles County, California. The county seat of Los Angeles County is Los Angeles. Los Angeles County is home to 10,017,068 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[9] Long Beach Unified School District is the third-largest school district in California, serving 83,691 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[10]


Los Angeles County underperformed in comparison to the rest of California in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 29.5 percent of Los Angeles County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 30.5 percent for California as a whole. The median household income in Los Angeles County was $56,241 compared to $61,400 for the state of California. The poverty rate in Los Angeles County was 17.1 percent compared to 15.3 percent for the entire state.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Los Angeles County (%) California (%)
White 71.6 73.7
Black or African American 9.3 6.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.5 1.7
Asian 14.5 13.9
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.5
Two or More Races 2.8 3.6
Hispanic or Latino 48.2 38.2

2013 Party Affiliation, Los Angeles County[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 2,450,612 50.77
Republican 1,021,666 21.16
American Independent 108,709 2.25
Peace and Freedom 34,940 0.72
Libertarian 26,221 0.54
Green 24,465 0.51
Americans Elect 2,466 0.05
Other 316,634 6.56
Unaffiliated 841,559 17.43

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.[12] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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