Lloyd Monserratt (December 2, 1966 – January 9, 2003), was born in Los Angeles, California, the eldest son of Ecuadorian immigrants Carlos and Olga Monserratt. His father was an architect and named his eldest son after Frank Lloyd Wright.
Monserratt graduated with honors from Saint Francis High School in La Cañada. He was an Eagle Scout. A graduate of UCLA, Lloyd was a leader in the student movement, as a student commissioner, and later as student body president.
Known for his energy and enthusiasm, his brief life influenced the California and Latino political scenes. He trained a number future Latino politicians while a director at NALEO and was a political and community leader in his own right. He was serving as chief-of-staff for Los Angeles City Councilmember Nick Pacheco at the time of his death. His death, from a pulmonary embolism after a gastric bypass surgery, sent a shock through the California Democratic circles. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Michelle Ramos. He was survived by his mother, Olga Monserratt, brother, Ernest G. Monserratt, nephew, Carlos F. Monserratt and his niece Sofia A. Monserratt.
Early political activism
Social activism was instilled in Monserratt early in life. At age 9 his father brought him along to protest the opening of the El Cid adult bookstore on Main Street in the San Gabriel Valley city of Alhambra. The store was eventually forced to close by the continuing presence of the protestors led by the Catholic League from the local parish.
Student leadership at UCLA
During his years at UCLA, Monserratt was extensively involved with the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC). Leading a coalition of minority students, he was elected president of USAC in 1988. The 1988 campaign pitted the coalition of minority students, the Third World Coalition, against the candidates put forth by members of Greek system (this antagonism continues today).
After the election, he was declared ineligible due to a dispute over his academic qualifications and denied office. Prior to the election, the student Election Board had approved the applications of all candidates for president, certifying that they met the academic requirements among other things. Days after the election, the USAC members who had endorsed Monserratt's opponents voted to overrule the Election Board, applying their own eligibility criteria retroactively. They were accused by many of subverting student democracy and taking through legislation what they had failed to win in the student vote.
After USAC ex post facto declared Monserratt ineligible, the Third World Coalition sought to put forth a new candidate in his place. However, this was not permitted by the USAC. Thus, the election to replace Monserratt was between Mike Meehan and Mike Soules (who had already lost in the primary and endorsed Mike Meehan), with Meehan eventually winning.
Some students viewed the move as racially motivated, and a group of about 200, most of them members of minority groups, marched on the polling places after a heated rally protesting the disqualification. A near riot ensued when candidates from the Third World Coalition slate protested the disqualification of their presidential candidate. The election was appealed through the internal student government appellate process, and the school administration, where Monserratt's ineligibility was affirmed.
At the time, Monserratt said he did not condone the violence and had left before it erupted. "This event was being used as an outlet for (student) frustrations," over racial problems, Monserratt said, "We have not seen a real commitment (from the University of California) to diversify our faculty, our programs, our administration."
California State Senator Art Torres, chairman of a special Senate committee on UC admissions, said the UCLA's administration was partly responsible for the troubles by not making minority students feel welcome on campus and that the election melee, while unfortunate, "was merely a catalyst for what was brewing underneath." In the fall of 1988, Torres held a hearing about racial tensions at UCLA, a series of racial incidents on that campus and on the UC's plans to ease the tensions.
After a change of control two years later, Monserratt's election victory was certified by the student government. Though he did not serve, Monserratt will be remembered as one of the few Latino undergraduate presidents in UCLA history. His picture currently hangs in the student body president's office along with the other elected presidents of the UCLA student government.
Monserratt honed his political organizing skills learned at UCLA by working for many California political campaigns. He used his experience to train future Latino politicians while the Director of Constituency Services at NALEO. A noted campaign manager, House minority leader Richard Gephardt once asked Monserratt to help with several close congressional races in California and Nevada. With Monserratt's help all six of the Democrats were elected. His personal style was to work behind the scenes supporting and influencing candidates and issues.
Candidates running for office he advised included Lucia Rivera, Ed Reyes, Vicki Castro, Jocelyn Yap, Nick Pacheco, the failed mayoral bid by Xavier Becerra and the Texas Senate campaign of Victor Morales.
Monserratt was involved in local Los Angeles politics. In 2001, while on leave from Pacheco's office to run the campaign of Ed Reyes for 1st District seat of the city council, Monserratt was involved in a small campaign scandal. Monserratt ran the phone-bank computers contracted to the mayoral campaign of Xavier Becerra. The campaign ran a tape of someone impersonating Gloria Molina disparaging the voting record of mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa. Though no laws had been broken, this action tarnished the reputations of all involved.
Believing in the concept of direct action, Monserratt was known for working tirelessly as a community builder. He created the Parents Institute while Chief of Staff to LAUSD Board Member Vicki Castro, and Los Angeles' "Bulky Item drop off centers."
He had already become a legend, at the age of 36, throughout the greater Eastside of the city of Los Angeles and throughout the Latino community statewide," said Council President Alex Padilla. "I don't think he had an equal."
"He was a tremendous leader and motivator of people," said David Hoffman, who was USAC president during the 1988 election and was a close friend of Monserratt.
I believe in public service. It helps ground my principles and organize how I live my life.
"Go Team!", often used to motivate his staff, or cheer on the Bruins or the Dodgers
- El Sereno Branch Library (in memory of Lloyd Monserratt)
- Lloyd Monserratt Pleasant House, Jovenes, Inc. - Providing emergency shelter to homeless, immigrant youth.
- "Evergreen Cemetery jogging path ~ Boyle Heights". LA Eastside. January 30, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
Evergreen Jogging path, Dedicated to Lloyd Monserratt: Nick Pacheco, Dedicated June 26, 2003; José Huizar, Councilmember 14th District, Rededicated January 12, 2008; Thanks to Public Works, Bureau of Street Services