Meet Angelo

I am running for California State Senate because the families of District 31 deserve a voice that will fight for the high quality of life that we each deserve. The urgent challenges of affordability, housing, homelessness, public education, climate change, economic and workforce development all require proven leadership. I am committed to collaboratively developing effective policy solutions for the complex problems facing our local communities and the State of California. Please join our diverse coalitions (representing the vibrant District 31 communities) that include my hometown, where my wife and I are raising our daughter and where I plan to retire one day. Together we can shape and realize a promising vision that future generations, will continue to be proud, to call their home also.

- Dr. Angelo Farooq

Dr. Angelo Farooq is an entrepreneur with a lifelong dedication to education 

Childhood roots in the community

Dr. Angelo Farooq is an entrepreneur and educator. Angelo is married to Vessy and their daughter Maya attends preschool at Riverside Unified School District. He is proudly born and raised in the Inland Empire. Angelo and his two younger sisters were raised by their immigrant mom in a low-income household. His mom’s resiliency instilled the values that motivate Angelo towards public service. Angelo is determined to fight for all families to have a fair opportunity to realize the California dream.

Lifelong dedication to education

After attending local public schools k-12 (Jurupa Unified School District), Angelo earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California Berkeley, Executive Master and Doctorate of Policy, Planning and Development degrees from the University of Southern California (USC). He serves in a part-time capacity as Director of Economic Development at the University of California Riverside (UCR) and also previously taught entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business there (this lecturer position is represented by AFT Local 1474 and he is currently a member of the Retiree Chapter AFT Local 1474-R).

Angelo’s Director role at UCR helped facilitate federal funds to establish a wet lab incubator that advances innovation in life sciences and biology related industries among many other initiatives.

Angelo has been elected for two terms (spanning nine years total through 2024) on the Board of Education for Riverside Unified School District (RUSD). RUSD educates nearly 42,000 students across 50 public schools and has an annual operating budget of about $600 million. Angelo is a delegate to the California School Board Association where he also served on their inaugural Climate Change Task force and serves on the Equality California’s Safe and Supportive Schools Advisory Committee.

His personal journey, growing up in a low-income home, has shaped him to advance equity so that all students can get a quality public education. RUSD boasts 30 California Distinguished and 5 National Blue Ribbon schools. Angelo has been an effective governing member responsible for nearly $400 million of Measure O facility funds to modernize and upgrade local schools. This includes developing new 21st century science labs and vocational training facilities that represent 45 career pathways throughout the district.

Angelo is an advocate for expanding Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) opportunities for all students.

He facilitated RUSD to be the first school district to partner with Girls Who Code in the country including the establishment of an innovative summer coding lab.

In 2016, RUSD was recognized by The White House based on its national best practices in computer science education. RUSD has been a leader of the Inland Code Consortium that includes 18 school districts across Riverside, San Bernardino and LA counties to support students and teachers.

In 2019, Angelo facilitated a first of its kind partnership between RUSD and the County of Riverside that enhances our overall 45 career technical education (CTE) programs including opportunities for students to expand internships, apprenticeships and employment upon graduation. RUSD’s award winning CTE pathways represent dynamic industry sectors such as health, sciences, and medical technology, energy, environment and utilities, building and construction, transportation, arts, media and entertainment, agriculture and natural resources, and engineering and architecture among many others.

Leading during crisis

Angelo collaborated with his colleagues to prioritize the safety of students, employees and families including their social and emotional well-being. This includes expanded learning services such as 24/7 tutoring for students in grades 7-12, after school programs throughout every school, to accelerate student achievement. 

As many school districts face a complicated fiscal environment, RUSD boasts an AA2 credit rating by Moody’s and (during Angelo’s 2019 Presidency) doubled its reserve requirement to have a higher ongoing standard of financial governance for its future. That same year, 2019, also featured Riverside Unified School District boasting the highest graduation rate (96%) in the County of Riverside and the highest of all of the 16 largest school districts in the State of California.

Angelo and his colleagues supported Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) to provide over 7.5 million free meals to students between March 2020 through July 2021 (even during the summer when school was out) to ensure that they didn’t go hungry during the peak uncertainty of the pandemic.

ExCITE Impact

Angelo is a Founding Board of Director for ExCITE technology incubator and accelerator that promotes local entrepreneurship and quality jobs in the region.
30 new local companies representing over $7.6 million investments received, +$8.7 million in grants and over 180 jobs created as of June 2022.

Community Engagement

Angelo and his wife Vessy have previously served together as a ‘Big Couple’ for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire; that focuses on empowering children facing adversity. His current local leadership service includes:

Founding Board of Director for Hispanic Coalition of Small Businesses
Appointed by Riverside County Board of Supervisors on the Workforce Development Board since 2007
La Sierra University Foundation Board of Director
Golden State Opportunity Board of Director

A sample of prior local leadership service includes:

Latino Network Board of Directors
Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
NAACP Riverside Branch Economic Development Council Member
Building Industry Association – Baldy View Board of Directors
Graduate of Leadership Riverside Class of 2015 – a program from the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
Mayor of Riverside’s Innovation District Working Group
Angelo has previously served on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and is the Immediate Past Chair of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest Action Fund.
Since 2019, Angelo has served as Co-Chair for the California Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Housing, Economic Development, Job Creation and Opportunity Zone Advisory Committee and previously served on the Council of Economic Advisors for California Controller Betty Yee.


Angelo was the first recipient of the NAACP Riverside Branch Waudieur Rucker-Hughes Legacy Service Award in 2018. He is an inductee into the Hall of Fame of his alma mater: Jurupa Valley High School, and is the recipient of the 2021 Community Leadership Award at the Moreno Valley State of the City among many other recognitions.

State Leadership

Angelo is the Chair of the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB). CWDB governs all federal workforce funds and develops a common policy framework for an overall $6 billion annual system that includes over 200 America Job Centers.

In 2021, Angelo collaborated with the State, County of Riverside and City of Moreno Valley leaders to establish a new designated America Job Center to help broaden access to jobs and employer services for residents and businesses of Western Riverside County.

As CWDB Chairman, the Inland Empire (Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino) region has secured significant investments under its nationally recognized High Road Training Partnership (HRTP) initiative. HRTP are industry-based, worker-focused trainings to build skills for expanding career pathways to ‘high road’ employers (that meet quality standards related to family-supporting jobs, worker voice and climate resiliency).

HRTP Investment Highlights

Here are a few highlights of HRTP investments (that were made during Angelo’s leadership term) that are specifically focused on broadening quality jobs and high road employers for the Inland Empire region:

Inland Empire Apprenticeship Readiness Program
Addresses critical skills issues and capacity of contractors and workers in the construction industry. These support services prepare participants for finding jobs in the building trades to reduce unemployment, recidivism, poverty and homelessness in the region. This partnership is led by San Bernardino/Riverside Building and Construction Trades Council (including their highly acclaimed Multi-Craft Core Curriculum pre-apprenticeship training), NAACP, California Construction and Industrial Materials Association, Moreno Valley Community College and many others.
High Road to Healthcare

Training health care industry to maximize potential of telehealth technologies, quality of patient care and climate resiliency. This partnership is led by Shirley Ware Education Center, SEIU-UHW, Kaiser Permanente and others.

High Road to Water

Careers in water related industries are among the highest quality job pathways and at the same time is facing a shortage of the necessary skilled workers needed to maintain operations. This industry training and apprenticeships include electronic maintenance technician and machinists among others. This partnership is led by Jewish Vocational Services, Western Municipal Water District, AFSCME Council 57, IAM Local 1414, IUOE Local 12 among others.

High Road to Logistics, Manufacturing, Construction and Transportation
Training to support electric vehicle operation / maintenance / infrastructure, building efficiency / retrofitting and solar installation. This partnership is led by the Inland Empire Labor Institute, UC Riverside CE-CERT, Inland Empire Black Worker Center, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice among many other organizations.
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