How would you approach COVID-19 and reopening the schools?
One of the most often asked questions I’ve received during this campaign has been how I would approach schools reopening. As a parent of a school age child, I understand the initial frustrations with distance learning, and a desire to get back to some sort of normalcy. I also don’t want anyone in our school family needlessly put at greater risk of exposure or infection.
COVID-19 has caused unimaginable harm. Scientists are still learning how the disease spreads and how best to keep us all safe. As public health experts learn more, they provide the public with the best available guidance. I trust the physicians, researchers, and public health practitioners that are working hard to keep our communities as safe and healthy as possible from this deadly pandemic.
Currently, Contra Costa County has met the requirements (14 consecutive days in the red tier) to allow school districts to consider “in-person targeted, specialized support and services in stable cohorts” as defined by the California Department of Public Health. The guidance urges schools to prioritize students with disabilities. English learners, students at higher risk of further learning loss or not participating in distance learning, students at risk of abuse or neglect, foster youth, and students experiencing homelessness may also be prioritized.
School districts must be able to satisfy all of the conditions of the guidance, including:
Limiting cohort size (14 students, 2 adults)
Restricting cohort mixing
Maintaining proper physical distancing, masking, cleaning and other safety measures
If I am elected, I will work collaboratively with fellow school board members, administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students to figure out the safest path forward based on the most current science and guidance required and provided by local, state and federal public health experts. I will prioritize limiting risk and preventing the spread of COVID-19 within our school communities and the greater communities in which our students, families, teachers, staff and administrators live.
The most up to date guidance can be found at the links below:
What are the top three (3) reasons you have for running for MDUSD Area 3 trustee?
I am tired of hearing a lot of talk about supporting “equity,” with no actions, plans, or policy behind it. My daughter experienced one racist incident at each of the two district schools she’s attended. The administration’s response was unacceptable. I believe in doing what’s right, and that wasn’t right. I want to change that.
I am an out of the box thinker who can bring new ideas to the table and amplify the voices of those who have been marginalized.
I’ve always been an advocate, passionate about issues that impact children. When I saw a Facebook post asking for Black candidates for the race, I knew it was my time. If not me then who?
If elected, what are the three (3) top priorities that you have for your term, what are their chance and how do you plan on accomplishing them?
Community: In order to develop resilient children, we need strong communities. I’ll ensure district families, teachers, administrators, students and staff have access to a network of community support by assisting in building bridges between cities and non-profits to leverage resources.
Communication: Even prior to the pandemic, many parents felt disengaged and frustrated by poor communication from the district. I will prioritize communication and provide guidance as to how the district can be better listeners and how to best distribute information to our community. Personally, I will foster communication and community building by hosting regularly scheduled meet and greets in the community, at varying times to accommodate all stakeholders. I will provide a translator for the significant Spanish speaking community in Area 3.
Funding: The state of California suffered a $54 billion FY21 budget deficit, once again putting schools on the chopping block. We will need to advocate for funding while also learning to do more with less. Adequate funding will require broad-based community support and a voter base that understands that schools are a public good worthy of financial support. I currently volunteer with MomsRising to encourage other moms to vote. I will continue that effort while working on the Board while also sharing opportunities for the community to participate in new revenue proposals.
What experience do you have to be a school board trustee?
I currently work as the Policy Director for California Child Care Resource & Referral Network. I started my community organizing career as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member in 1996.
Besides child care policy, I have worked on health issues such as the Affordable Care Act, nutrition labeling and tobacco control, as well as hunger and poverty issues such as SNAP, SSI, and child nutrition, and alcohol policy focusing on the impact of over-concentration of alcohol outlets in struggling communities.
I previously served as the President of the Oakland Chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action, and previously served as the leader of the young adult chapter. I currently serve on the Public Policy Committee for Child Care Aware of America.