April 21, 2010
Local council elects L.A. teen
A 15-year old Orthodox Jewish girl has become the youngest elected public representative in Los Angeles.
Rachel Lester, a sophomore at a Modern Orthodox high school, was elected last week to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council. She defeated her opponent, a college-educated family man, by a vote of 144 to 13.
The 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles are official municipal bodies that serve as advisory boards to the L.A. City Council and as liaison between residents and the municipal government.
Neighborhood councils generally hold two meetings per month, to which Lester’s mother will have to drive her.
Lester is a straight A average at Shalhevet High School and has skipped a grade. Along with her budding political career, her schedule includes choir practice, tutoring, and working as page designer and feature editor on the school newspaper.
In her low-key campaign, Lester took a leaf from another young politician, Barack Obama, relying heavily on social networking through Facebook and working the youth vote.
Her district encompasses about 50 blocks in a heavily Jewish area with a strong Orthodox component that is well known for its kosher restaurants and markets.