James Aguilar, a member of the San Leandro School Board, was raised in Oakland and San Leandro. Aguilar’s political engagement began during high school, when he advocated for student voice in city council and was eventually appointed as the first student trustee of the San Lorenzo Unified School District Board. After graduating from high school, he ran for an elected seat on the San Leandro Unified School District Board of Trustees, and was elected in 2018. At 21, he is the youngest elected official in the Bay Area, and the third openly gay person to hold a seat on the SLUSD board. He is a full-time student at San Francisco State University, studying political science, and is involved in a variety of student advocacy groups and initiatives.
Aguilar cites his childhood experiences in a platform that centers on improving the education system, addressing homelessness, providing health care for all, and improving the infrastructure of public transportation. His platform draws strong connections between economic and environmental justice and the social disparities that exist across different communities in the district. In the Assembly, he would work to put forward legislation that improves the K–12 funding mix, provides free tuition to city and state institutions, and increases the minimum wage to $22/hour. He has pledged to refuse fossil fuel money, police money, money from real estate interests, and corporate PAC money in his campaign. He has been endorsed by several local education and community leaders, former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin, and Freethought Equality Fund.