Weintraub Was a Strong Voice for Valley

She spent 14 years on the Board of Education, changed her appearance nearly that many times and always looked out for the San Fernando Valley.

Roberta Weintraub began her career in politics by fighting against forced busing--even calling then-board member and current City Council member Rita Walters "a bitch" on a radio show--and then went on, years later, to serve as school board president.

Along the way, the outspoken Weintraub pushed for more highly prized magnet schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and helped settle a 1989 teachers' strike by negotiating a new contract that granted teachers more autonomy as well as more money. And, she helped open the first school-based health clinics that dispensed contraceptives, among other things. She even fought for less costly proms.

She lived in the Valley until the Northridge earthquake severely damaged her hillside Sherman Oaks home. Today, remarried and voluntarily out of elected office, she runs a nonprofit organization: the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School. She has so far helped open three such programs--aimed at gearing high school students to become police officers--and a fourth is scheduled to open next fall.

Given her gift for fund-raising, it's not surprising that Weintraub raised more than $1 million for the school programs in the first year.

But doesn't she miss the political limelight? Not really.

"I'm not sorry I left," says Weintraub, a self-described fitness fanatic. "I think I left with enough time for a second--even third--career."

Stay tuned.

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