Emily Gold, Chair
Emily Gold is a parent organizer with the California Charter School Association, focusing on engaging parents to advocate for high quality charter school options and to build a powerful voice to demand better education opportunities for all kids. Emily previously served as a Field Deputy to State Senator Sheila Kuehl, throughout her tenure in both the state Assembly and state Senate. Among other duties, Emily represented Senator Kuehl on matters related to her health care legislation, working with community groups to coordinate advocacy for universal healthcare. Before joining Senator Kuehl’s team, Emily worked in the field of HIV/AIDS, doing case management, education and research.
Emily has served on several boards for organizations focused on social justice and equity. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters of Arts degree in negotiation and conflict resolution from California State, Dominguez Hills. Emily and her wife live in Venice with their son, who attends a Los Angeles public school.
Heidi Landers, Secretary
In 2004, Heidi Landers became a founding partner of Social Venture Partners Los Angeles where she became deeply involved in efforts to address the deep inequities and challenges of public education. Her experiences led her to the conclusion that problems at the local school level can’t be solved unless politicians and government leaders prioritize the interests of children over the adults in the school “business” and she has become very active in supporting candidates for school boards and the state legislature who share that perspective. When she has “spare” time, Heidi is writing a novel for teens. She grew up in Europe and speaks Spanish and French.
Amy Baker, Treasurer
Amy Guenther Baker is a co-founder of Parent Partnership for Public Education. Started in 2010, the non-profit focuses on educating and organizing parents on the Westside of Los Angeles in order to give parents a great understanding of and voice in public education policy. When she is not community organizing, Baker runs Gateway Management Company, a talent management company she started in 2002, representing actors, writers and directors. Baker graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television with a B.A. in Production and is an alumnae of Mary Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. A native Californian, Baker has lived in Los Angeles for 27 years. She and her husband have two daughters in an LAUSD public elementary school.
Rajiv Dalal currently serves as the executive director of the Multiple Sclerosis Hope Foundation. He was most recently an advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, where he served as the city’s Deputy Film Czar and ran the Mayor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Production. In that capacity, he helped engineer and pass the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act, which has already brought thousands of middle class jobs back to California. As a result of his work, Rajiv was named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 35 most influential executives in Hollywood under 35, and named Public Service Counsel of the Year by the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel.
Before joining the Mayor, Rajiv oversaw international corporate affairs for Warner Brothers, CNN, TIME, and HBO. Rajiv began his legal career at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Human rights and pro-bono advocacy have always been important to Rajiv. He spent a year co-founding and teaching at the Samvedana School, a school that helps educate impoverished children in the slums of India. Rajiv worked in the offices of Senator Ted Kennedy and Ambassador Michael Gardner, and as a victim interviewer for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Currently Rajiv serves as an advisor to several organizations, including Code the Streets, an inner city mentoring program, Maitri, a domestic violence clinic, and the Motion Picture Television Fund, a health and social safety net for film industry retirees.
Shirley Ford is co-Founder of Parent Revolution and an accomplished, energetic parent activist with a solid history of achievement in inspiring parents and faith and community leaders to stand up and unite around better educational choices for children. Shirley knows first-hand from her personal experiences that success is possible and school choice should be a right for every family. Shirley has seen that great public schools are possible and that all children can learn, and is passionate about empowering parents to obtain great schools for their children, especially children in under-served and historically marginalized communities.
Her passion for parents’ rights and quality public education comes from her own experience raising her boys. Shirley first got involved in the movement when she was fighting for the education of her own sons, who were part of the first graduating classes of Animo Inglewood (a Green Dot school). Her middle son, Robert, became the first in their family to graduate from a university and is currently an English teacher at a high school in Houston, Texas.
As co-founder of Parent Revolution, Shirley has played leadership roles in many of the organization’s high profile campaigns, including passing the first-ever Parent Empowerment law in California. As a fierce advocate, Shirley took the message of parent empowerment on the road to organize parents in Texas, Connecticut, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Tennessee. She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships and spearheads the partnership work for Parent Revolution’s newest program, Choice4LA.
Shirley has furthered her education and received an Associate of Arts from Aenon Bible College and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling from California University of Theology. Her most recent accomplishment is obtaining her California State Ministers license with the Pentecostal Assemblies of The World under the leadership of Bishop Robert Douglas. Shirley is a member and minister at Jacob’s Ladder Community Fellowship Church. She is also a member of National Council of Negro Women and NAACP. Shirley is not only the mother of three wonderful sons, but also a proud grandmother of three.
Sylvia Wilson was born and raised in Modesto, California. After graduating high school, she moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. While in college, she worked on Capitol Hill through the Washington Center program, first for Congressman Gary Condit and then Senator Dianne Feinstein. She graduated with a B.A. in English earning Departmental Honors.
After college, Sylvia attended law school at the University of Southern California, then began work as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles. For the past 16 years, her career has focused on protecting the rights of children and families.
She is married and has twin children who currently attend a public elementary school in Los Angeles. Sylvia serves on the outreach committee at her twins’ school, helping coordinate events and engage low-income and minority parents. Previously, she chaired the Scholarship Board and was a committee member for the McAlister School for Teenage Mothers through Century City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.