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Los Angeles County, CA March 3, 2015 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Carl J. Petersen

Candidate for
Board Member; Los Angeles Unified School District; District 3

This information is provided by the candidate

As a father of five, I have personally seen what happens when the LAUSD's massive bureaucracy stands in the way of our students. In my case, the district made me fight for the services that my daughters' teachers agreed they required. I knew that my story was not unique and decided at that point that I needed to run for office so that I could push for change.

My political activism goes back to 1988 when I had just moved to Los Angeles from the suburbs of New York to attend Musician's Institute in Hollywood. I saw a flyer requesting help to defend against Operation Rescue's planned attempts to shut down facilities providing family planning services and volunteered. Before long I was spending my Saturday mornings escorting patients into their appointments.

Elections do have consequences and Bill Clinton's election to the White House brought the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. This ended Operation Rescue's activities and gave me back my Saturday mornings. I settled into my life, got married, raised two children (Becca and Jessie), and bought a house in Van Nuys. Eventually I continued the education I had begun at New York's Pace University, getting a degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. I was living the American Dream.

This dream was enabled by hard work and a drive to improve myself. My first job in California was at J. B. Chemical Company, a small automotive care company in North Hollywood. I worked my way up from the factory floor to General Manager. After 15 years, I left the security of this job to advance my career at Unified Dispatch, LLC, a startup company in Altadena. Shortly afterwards I was invited by Arecont Vision to manage their Operations Department as they progressed from development to production of high-definition security cameras. At the time I was hired, there was only one other employee. Ten years later we have over 150 employees worldwide and manufacture our cameras in Glendale. I am currently their Director of Logistics.

Life does not always go the way we plan and in 2006 I found myself in the new role of single father. This was followed by the pleasant surprise of falling in love again (Sammy Hagar speaks the truth), moving to the Northridge / Porter Ranch area and marrying Nicole in a clandestine ceremony at Disneyland. As an added bonus, I became a father to Nicole's triplets, Sydney, Zoey and Morgan.

In addition to my work and family responsibilities, I have also played drums in several local bands. I love the adventure of a good thrill ride and can often be found with the family at an amusement park. I also write "The Different Drummer" blog which revolves around "Politics, Family, Music and other Musings." My wife and I also foster for The Gentle Barn animal rescue. Life is busy, chaotic and satisfying.

Unlike others who have held a seat on the LAUSD school board, I do not see it as a stepping stone to higher political office. I have experienced the dysfunction of the district and know that the system needs to change. After speaking to other parents, teachers and community members, I know that my feelings and experiences are not unique. My candidacy is about using my talents to find solutions. If you have any questions or would like to share your ideas for improving our district, please contact me at

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: January 3, 2015 10:38
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