Ruby Kalra, M.D. | A Thank You Note to South Pasadena

PHOTO: Michael Newman |

The health and well-being of children is my true passion, and this summer when I decided to run for the South Pasadena Board of Education, my long-term goal was to continue advocating for public education in our city and, more specifically, for our students.

As a pediatrician for 30 years, and as a 15-year volunteer in our schools (which my three sons have attended from kindergarten to high school), my focus has always been on improving the lives of children. Having served in leadership capacities on the boards of local school-related organizations, and as a member of district oversight committees, I also felt that running for this important local office would be a natural next step for me to take in supporting our children and schools and serving the South Pasadena community.

Having made the decision to run, my short-term goal was a grassroots campaign in which I would do my best to make a personal connection with as many residents as I possibly could before the November 6th election. So my husband and I placed an order for yard signs and printed up flyers. My husband posted the signs, and I began knocking on doors throughout the city. I had campaigned door-to-door before (for local school funding measures and for candidates in past school board elections), but this would prove to be a very different and incredibly rewarding experience.

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In many ways, it is amazing that so many people will open the door to talk to a stranger holding a clipboard. All had one thing in common: no matter the age of the person opening the door, or whether they had school-aged children, people here in South Pasadena truly care about our schools and about our children. These shared interests would often lead to more extended conversations about our families and our lives, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity this election has given me to connect with other South Pasadena residents on such a personal level. We are no longer strangers but neighbors.

So I would like to thank all of you who have opened your doors to me, read my flyer, or visited my website ( to learn more about me and my campaign, in order to help you make an informed decision before you head to the polls on Tuesday. I will never take for granted how fortunate we are to live in a community so devoted to its children and to their success