With his recent election to the Board of the Culver City Unified School District, Triston Ezidore has made history as the youngest elected leader in Los Angeles County history. He also becomes the youngest candidate to win a seat on the Culver City School Board, and the first Black male to serve on the Board.
At the time this article was posted, Ezidore was running second among seven candidates for school board. He has thus far earned 6,528 votes or 16.75 percent of the vote.
“I didn’t enter this race to make history, I entered this race to make change,” said Ezidore. “But the historical context of this election is not lost on me. What we offered on November’s ballot was more than a vision, it was a promise to the students, faculty, and staff of Culver City Unified – a commitment to address our hardest challenges. From every corner of the community, Culver City has spoken: change can’t wait. We are eager and ready to meet this moment.”
He says he is ready to roll up his sleeves and hit the ground running with a fresh perspective on the issues facing the Culver City Unified School District. “As a recent graduate of Culver City High School, I understand the challenges students face every day in their classrooms, and on their campuses,” he stated. He continued, “As the son of Vietnamese and Jamaican immigrants, I am a staunch believer in a School District built for all students to thrive, rooted in anti-racism, and a commitment to bold systemic change, especially for our students who have historically been left behind.”
Ezidore attributes his popular support to his knowledge of the issues, deep personal understanding of the perspective of students, and a strong message of equity and inclusion. The candidate racked-up masses of endorsements from organizations and elected officials. He is the only candidate for Culver City School Board to receive endorsements from all four leading LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups, in addition to a number of labor unions, environmental organizations, and Democratic Clubs.
He was also endorsed by dozens of current and former elected officials and civic leaders, including California Assembly Members Isaac Bryan and Tina McKinnor, Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Culver City Mayor Dr. Daniel Lee, Culver City Councilmembers Yasmine-Imani McMorrin and Alex Fisch, Culver City School Board Vice President Paula Amezola, and School Board Members Dr. Kelly Kent, Summer McBride, and Dr. Tashon McKeithan.
After the murder of George Floyd, Ezidore joined a youth-led organization known as poc4change, which organized to push for Culver City government to center the voices and experiences of young people. This early political involvement inspired him to run for office, motivated by his desire to help solve problems, remove barriers, and empower students.
I asked Ezidore if he feels a particular responsibility as a young elected leader. He told me, “Yeah! I do feel a sense of responsibility. Bench-building is crucial to the work. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the many visionary, bold black leaders who raised their hands and didn’t ask for permission to lead. It was my job to run for this seat and win so that we could change the tone, the tenner, and the rhetoric surrounding young people in politics.”
He concluded, “I feel honored to serve on the Culver City School Board. I intend to work with the other Board Members to take full advantage of this opportunity to improve the District for everyone, and enhance the social and educational experience of the students it serves.”