Profile: Connor Traut – Ladera Ranch Community Council

Connor Traut

Connor Traut

Last year Orange County saw its youngest elected official enter office when 18-year-old Connor Traut won a seat on the Ladera Ranch Civic Council. The Council is made up of 7 council members, each serving two-year terms. According to the Council website, “the Ladera Ranch Civic Council is the Ladera Ranch precursor to a local incorporated government that provides input to the Orange County governing boards as the Ladera Ranch civic representation. The purpose of this organization is to encourage and gather public comment on a range of topics which may affect the community of Ladera Ranch and represent the interests of our residents.”

Prior to Traut’s election, Placentia City Council member Jeremy Yamaguchi was the youngest elected official, at 19 years-old, upon his election in 2008. The election of Connor Traut to the Ladera Ranch Civic Council makes him the youngest elected Democrat in Orange County.

Traut moved to Ladera Ranch in 2009 and began his involvement  in politics when he formed the Teen Leadership Council in 2010. This Council gave the youth population in Ladera Ranch more of a voice and a vehicle to give back to their community. Traut was recognized in the Ladera Ranch community when he became the Ladera Ranch Volunteer of the Year, 4th of July Parade Grand Marshall, Regional Occupation Program Distinguished Student of the Year, and an Eagle Scout, all while still in high school.

Connor Traut (L) with Ladera Ranch Teen Leadership Council members

Connor Traut (L) with Ladera Ranch Teen Leadership Council members

I spoke with Traut and asked what drove him to run for political office at such a young age.

“Ladera Ranch is the roots and wings to my start in public service. I attended all Council meetings for two years prior to my election, and knew that someday I would serve for the community and offer a unique perspective on the Council. That day came when I announced my candidacy on my 18th birthday because I figured “why wait?”

Traut is currently 19-years-old, and a freshman at Chapman University, studying political science and economics. He maintains a high GPA while continuing to work with his other council members in serving the residents of Ladera Ranch.

When asked how he managed to win a community-wide election, Traut said;

“My campaign for Civic Council was executed with each of the 24,000 residents in mind. Campaign volunteers and I connected to over 5000 homes with only flyers in our hands, issues in our heads, and drive to connect with the community in our hearts. My campaign for Civic Council cost under $1000. The money was spent only on flyers and targeted online advertisements. With the media coverage of my campaign, I did not deem it necessary to purchase advertisements to earn the support – and ultimately the votes – of the community.“

Traut was the top vote getter in the election, receiving a little over 21% of the vote. You can see the results here.

Traut was unanimously elected as the Treasurer for the Council. He says that he “shares a vested interest in the long-term success of his community by focusing on their schools and recreation assets to attract and retain current residents. Every community has issues. The key is how we work to solve them. I campaigned with the mission to champion projects that strengthen our schools, safety, and improve quality of life, including our local economy, and businesses by bringing innovative ideas.”

The election of Connor Traut shows the growing youth involvement in Orange County politics. It is inspiring to see such a young politician elected into office, and we are all excited to see what the future will hold for this young Orange County Democrat.

Visit http://www.lrciviccouncil.org/about-us to learn more about the Ladera Ranch Civic Council and http://ConnorTraut.com to see Council Member Connor Traut’s Campaign website.

  5 comments for “Profile: Connor Traut – Ladera Ranch Community Council

  1. Marilyn S
    May 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    This article gives insight into the mind and motivation of a young man who inspires me. So often we hear stories of teens who are successful in sports or music, drama or the arts, or even volunteer service. I loved reading about someone dedicated to the ‘political machinery’ of Orange County.

  2. Cynthia Ward
    May 15, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Interestingly this article doesn’t mention the young man’s return to Anaheim, and a serious interest in Anaheim politics. Wondering if he might be eyeballing any open seats in 2014? He seems to be everywhere in Anaheim these days.

    • May 16, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Cynthia, Joel has updated his profile of Connor at the end of the story in response to your inquiry.

  3. May 15, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Interesting point Cynthia. I’ll ask Joel to follow upamd ask.

  4. Cynthia Ward
    May 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks for the follow up Chris, he is a nice kid, wondering what part of the city he lives in, I see him a lot in central Anaheim, actually wondering if he lives here in the Colony. I cannot think of anything I have attended in the last 2 or 3 months that he has not been at, don’t know where he finds the time to do it all, but would love to know what brand of coffee he drinks. Again, nice guy, gonna go places….for you dems at least : )

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