CPP alum makes mark on local politics

By Erik Carr

Jason Rothman, son of Pomona’s mayor, tackles his new
position on the Board of Education for Pomona Unified School

While being a college graduate and a politician usually go hand
and hand, seldom are these titles acquired in the same year, and
even more remarkably, by a 22-year-old.

All of this happened to Cal Poly alumni Jason Rothman, who
received his degree in biotechnology with a minor in chemistry last
June and was elected to the Pomona Unified School District Board of
Education in November of last year.

The recent college graduate, who is going for his master’s in
biological sciences at Cal Poly, is proof that an individual can
accomplish anything regardless of their age.

“Age is not a factor anymore,” said Rothman. “A young person is
as qualified as an olderperson.”

Even though he would like to consider himself to have set the
bar for a young person in office, he acknowledges the handful of
18- year-olds nationwide who are in the same position.

Despite his degree not being in a subject people expect from a
politician, his connection to politics is very strong. Jason’s
father, Elliott Rothman, is the mayor of Pomona, and it is through
his leadership as Pomona’s mayor where Rothman credits his father’s
biggest influence.

“If it wasn’t for his election in 1997, I wouldn’t have been
exposed [to politics],” said Rothman about his father’s first
mayoral race.

Although he is still regarded as young in most circles, Rothman
has already garnered controversy in his political career.

Last year, Rothman was appointed to the city planning commission
of Pomona, and while the young adults of this town are allowed to
have their voice heard like all other age groups, skeptics believe
that there should be certain specifications for who should be on
the board.

John Clifford, a resident of Pomona and preservationist, told
Insidesocal.com he believes that at the very least, a member of
the planning commission should own a home in the city.

“I believe (Jason Rothman) lives with his parents,” said
Clifford in the article from January of last year.

Though Clifford said he was impressed by Rothman’s initial
performance on the commission, he still held reservations.

“Is the reason this person was chosen because he was the best
and most qualified person to lead us in future development or were
there other reasons?,” Clifford asked.

Regardless of these claims, Rothman served his term with the
commission and has now set his sights upon making changes in the
way the school district operates.

Within the next two years of his term there are at least two
things Rothman would like to get done.

“I would like to eliminate a lot of the waste going on … It’s
not an equal balance. A lot more comes in than out,” said Rothman,
referring to government spending.

He also said he would like to the revamp the district’s
volunteer policies because they “make it difficult for Hispanics to

Though his father is deeply involved in Pomona’s political
scene, Rothman said he was not sure whether he would continue to
pursue a political career.

“I don’t think that far ahead,” said Rothman.

Only two months have passed since his election to the PUSD Board
of Education, and with 23 months to go before he will be up for
re-election, Rothman will have time to achieve the goals of cutting
wasteful spending and revising the volunteer policy.

Ultimately, the voters will decide the outcome of Rothman’s
future in politics if he chooses to run for a second term as a
member of the board of education in December 2011.

Reach Erik Carr at: news@thepolypost.com

CPP alum makes mark on local politics

Courtesy of PUSD

CPP alum makes mark on local politics

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