Trojans running in the 2024 primaries

Six USC alumni will face off in the Los Angeles City Council District 10, 14 races.

(Vivienne Tran / Daily Trojan)

With over 465,000 living members of the Trojan Family, USC has produced movie stars, astronauts and world-famous athletes. Lacking statues on campus, though, are the many political figures USC has produced — among them Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.

In today’s primary election, Trojans are once again on the ballot, including six running in districts which include or are adjacent to the University Park or Health Sciences Campuses.

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Wendy Carrillo

After graduating USC with a degree in specialized journalism focused on demography and politics in 2009, Wendy Carrillo went on to work in radio and political reporting in L.A. In 2017, she was drafted for an unsuccessful run in a congressional special election, which began her career in politics. 

While at the University, Carillo was a member of Lambda Pi Eta, an honors society of the National Communication Association. She also was an active participant in La CASA — then called El Centro Chicano — where she felt a community supporting her immigrant and first-generation student experience.

She wants to bring more higher education institutions into downtown L.A. and says USC will be a major part of the future of L.A. 

Nadine Diaz

Nadine Diaz is a third-generation Trojan and earned three degrees from USC — a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology, a Master of Social Work and a doctorate in social work. She has worked at the Keck School of Medicine since 1995.

“It’s so important to collaborate with different organizations and with people. You never know who you’re going to run into who can help. So, I am prepared,” Diaz said. “I know we have a housing issue but it’s more than building affordable housing. It’s more than the number of beds. We need to think innovatively and look at the long term.”

Disclaimer: Diaz worked as a graphic designer for the Daily Trojan between 1990 and 1993.

Heather Hutt

Heather Hutt is the incumbent in L.A. City Council District 10. She was selected as an interim council member September 2022 after the Council suspended Mark Ridley-Thomas following bribery, conspiracy and fraud charges. The City Council voted to extend her term to December 2024 in April after a jury convicted Ridley-Thomas. 

Her District 10 website touts street-based engagement teams and interim housing as key steps she’s taken to address homelessness and pushes for growth in sectors including bioscience, digital media and health care.

Reggie Jones-Sawyer

Since graduating in 1979, Reggie Jones-Sawyer has stayed connected to USC. He is an honorary advisory member of the Black Alumni Council and has an endowed scholarship fund in his name.

In 2013, he told the Daily Trojan that his family’s past struggle to receive an equal education was an impetus to his hard work at USC and efforts to improve education in the state.

Jones-Sawyer currently represents District 57 in the California Assembly. His platform includes promises to enact new oversight requirements at City Hall and accelerate L.A.’s transition to renewable fuels.

Sydney Kamlager-Dove

Before becoming a state assemblymember and state Senator, Sydney Kamlager-Dove was working as the public relations director for the Undergraduate Student Government Program Board at USC. She also was a member of Zeta Phi Beta. 

Kamlager-Dove has stayed connected to USC as an honorary advisory member of the Black Alumni Council.

Her congressional website touts efforts to protect the right to abortion and to push for student loan forgiveness. 

Steve Williams

During his time at USC, Steve Williams participated in the Black Student Union, Troy Philippines, and the Latino Business Student Association. In a statement to the Daily Trojan, Williams said his USC experience was “phenomenal” and he “wouldn’t trade those college years for anything.”

In his platform, Williams calls for change in Congressional District 43 and promises to lower taxes and fight for U.S. energy independence. 

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