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If I had one wish it would be for every child to attend an excellent public school. That is also where I believe we can find the solutions to our city’s urgent problems: educating and nurturing our children is how we will reduce crime, build a thriving economy, and grow the next generation of smart and responsible Oakland leaders.
It’s difficult to convey the passion I have for children and schools, and amount of investment I have put into Oakland’s students - long before I had my own two children. I’ve worked tirelessly to mentor, tutor, raise money, and solve problems at our schools. I gave up my career as an attorney to create and lead a public schools volunteer program. I have one youth that I have mentored ever since he was 9 years old – now he’s 23 and I still mentor him.
District 4 has thriving public schools – which I myself attended years ago – and a community that solidly supports them. As your representative in City Hall, I will continue to pour my energy into supporting our students through advocacy, legislation and heavy-duty problem solving.
I would never say “call your school board member” when approached about a school-related issue. I don’t believe in the silos between schools and City Hall. I will mandate my staff to work on issues related to our schools. I will work closely with the District 4 school board member so children don’t fall between the gaps in our bureaucracies.
I will reach out to OUSD and within the City Council to break down the walls between our libraries, parks and school sites – all our City and School facilities should be available to our children when they need them.
I will push for the City and OUSD to collaborate on operations – I see ample opportunities around facilities maintenance, equipment-sharing, sharing technology and infrastructure. Oakland has the advantage of having a City and School District with shared boundaries; I want to break down institutional boundaries.
I will put my relationships to use for our kids – the benefit of having worked in public service in Oakland for my whole life is that I have partners in hundreds of agencies and organizations – from transit agencies to art programs to State government.
Truancy is a key area where City and schools overlap. I’ll work for creative and smart solutions to this pressing issue. I will use the City’s many eyes-on-the-streets to be more vigilant in combating this problem.
I will be a passionate advocate at every level of government for policies, programs and funding for our students. Especially in this time of budget crises, Oakland's leaders can and should do a much better job of advocating for our children at the school level and at the District and State level.
I will continue to support the vision and leadership of Superintendent Tony Smith and the strategic vision called Thriving Students that the OUSD Board unanimously adopted this year.
I will support making Oakland a great place to be a teacher, volunteer, tutor, and mentor. Let’s make Oakland a City where all children THRIVE.