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Gila Jones

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Gila Jones
Gila Jones.jpg
Board member, Capistrano Unified Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 6
Term ends
Years in position 1
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of California, Irvine
Master'sNortheastern University
ProfessionEducational nonprofit board member
Office website
Campaign website
Gila Jones represents Trustee Area 6 on the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees in California. She was first elected to the board on November 4, 2014.

She ran against one incumbent in the general election on November 4, 2014.[1] Gila Jones won the general election on November 4, 2014.

Jones was a Democratic candidate for District 38 of the California State Senate in 2010. She won the primary election on June 8, 2010, and lost the general election on November 2, 2010, to incumbent Republican Kristi Stone.


Jones earned her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine. She went on to receive her MBA from Northeastern University. Jones has worked for over 20 years for technology firms in the fields of systems analysis and engineering, product management, marketing and sales. Jones and her husband, Tom, have two children. They reside in San Juan Capistrano, California. In addition to running for state office, Jones served on the Voter Services Committee of the California Democratic Party from 2006 to 2008.[2]



See also: Capistrano Unified School District elections (2014)


The seats from Trustee Areas 4, 6 and 7 on the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees were up for general election on November 4, 2014. No incumbent ran for re-election in Trustee Area 4, leaving the race to two candidates, Craig P. Alexander and Martha McNicholas. McNicholas won the election. In the Trustee Area 6 race, incumbent Ellen M. Addonizio lost the election to challenger Gila Jones. The Trustee Area 7 race featured incumbent Lynn Hatton-Hodson and challenger Julie Collier. Hatton-Hodson won re-election to her seat.


Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngGila Jones 58.9% 5,224
     Nonpartisan Ellen M. Addonizio Incumbent 41.1% 3,639
Total Votes 8,863
Source: Orange County Election Department, "General Election Results," accessed December 22, 2014


The Orange County Registrar of Voters does not publish and freely disclose school board candidate campaign finance reports that were filed by paper in their office. Ballotpedia staffers directly requested this information, but the municipal office refused those requests to make that information public.


Jones received endorsements from the following organizations:[3][4][5]

Jones also received endorsements from a number of local officials, including Capistrano Unified Board of Trustees members Lynn Hatton-Hodson, Gary Pritchard and Amy Hanacek.[5] A list of her supporters can be found here.


See also: California State Senate elections, 2010

Jones was defeated in the general election on November 2, 2010, by incumbent Republican Kristi Stone.[6]

Campaign themes


Jones highlighted the following issues on her campaign website:

As a 35 year Capistrano Unified School District resident with a lifelong passion for education, I’m proud to live in the highest performing large district in California. I’m strongly committed to maintaining and continually improving our exceptional schools to attract investments in our community, which will keep our housing values and economy strong.

As a parent of two young CUSD graduates, I know that one size doesn’t fit all. I will work to ensure that families have choices within the public school system.

As a volunteer still involved in CUSD schools as well as Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano, an educational nonprofit benefiting local youth, I believe we must be dedicated to teaching all students in our diverse community.

As an MBA with 20 years of experience in high technology, I have the skills to make objective, strategic, and responsible decisions that focus on maximizing student achievement.

My highest priorities will be balancing the budget, keeping financial resources in the classroom, and ensuring our graduates are prepared to do well in college and in the workplace.

Our schools are central to the success of our children and of our communities. I will dedicate myself to that success and would be honored to receive your vote.[7]

—Gila Jones's campaign website, (2014)[8]

What was at stake?

Issues in the district

New superintendent starts

In August 2014, the Capistrano Unified School District welcomed Kirsten Vital as its new superintendent. Before serving Capistrano Unified, Vital served for over five years as Alameda Unified School District's superintendent. She left her former district with two years left on her contract. Vital took the reins from Joe Farley, Capistrano Unified's former superintendent who officially retired July 1, 2014. In addition to her work in the Alameda Unified School District, Vital also previously served as an administrator in the Oakland Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District.[9][10]

About the district

See also: Capistrano Unified School District, California
Capistrano Unified School District is located in Orange County, California.

Capistrano Unified School District is located in Orange County, California. The county seat of Orange County is Santa Ana. Orange County was home to 3,114,363 residents in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau.[11] In the 2011-2012 school year, Capistrano Unified School District was the 10th-largest school district by enrollment in California and served 53,170 students.[12]


Orange County outperformed the rest of California in terms of education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 36.6 percent of Orange 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 for Orange County was $75,566 compared to $61,400 for the entire state. The percentage of people below poverty level for Orange County was 11.7 percent while it was 15.3 percent statewide.[11]

Racial Demographics, 2013[11]
Race Orange County (%) California (%)
White 74.1 73.5
Black or African American 2.1 6.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 1.7
Asian 19.2 14.1
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.5
Two or more race 3.2 3.7
Hispanic or Latino 34.2 38.4

Presidential Voting Pattern, Orange County[13]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 512,440 582,332
2008 549,558 579,064
2004 419,239 641,832
2000 391,819 541,299

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

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