LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A 15-year old Orthodox Jewish girl has become the youngest elected public representative in Los Angeles.
Rachel Lester was elected last week to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council, besting her opponent, a college-educated family man, with a lop-sided vote of 144 to 13.
The 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles are official municipal bodies, which serve as advisory boards to the L.A. City Council and as liaison between the average citizen and the municipal government.
Neighborhood councils generally hold two meetings per month, to which Rachel’s mother will have to drive her.
Lester is a sophomore at Shalhevet High School, a modern Orthodox school, has a straight A average, and skipped one grade.
Besides that, and a budding political career, her schedule includes choir practice, tutoring, and working as page designer and feature editor on the school’s newspaper. She works out on her treadmill every morning.
In her low-key campaign, Lester took a leaf from another young politician, Barack Obama, relying heavily on social networking through Facebook and working the youth vote.
Her district encompasses about 50 blocks in a heavily Jewish area with a strong Orthodox component and famed for its kosher restaurants and markets.