Why I'm Running
I was born and raised by a single mother in the dogtown neighborhood of Santa Monica. I attended JAMS and SAMOHI before graduating from UCSC. I feel extremely fortunate to be able live and work in Santa Monica and to be able raise my five-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son here.
As I engage in my children's education I am faced with the areas where the district is not functioning as it should—and in fact in areas is failing our kids. There is a litany of complaints, from John Muir's closure due to mold, which was known about and not treated for years, to massive cost over runs on our bond backed projects. After over a decade of the same School Board members talking about the achievement gap, we have seen little downward progress there—unlike enrollment which has fallen steeply. Despite comparatively top level per pupil funding, our schools routinely test near the mean, not at all commensurate with our funding or the excellence we know our kids deserve. We are losing teachers and gaining administrators and despite massive budgets our parents are having to pick up the slack through fund raising efforts.
As President Truman said, "the buck stops here." The superintendent, his managers and the board that oversees them, must take responsibility for their mismanagement and failings and a new generation of leaders must step up to take on the challenge of guiding our school district into the 21st century.
I have a background in managing budgets and threading the needle when it comes to construction and spending. My son has special needs, so I have been intimately part of the special education system with him from the beginning, learning and understanding the needs our most vulnerable kids have. I have served as an elected board member of the Roosevelt Site Council, and have personally seen the cronyism and dysfunction that diminishes our teacher’s abilities to do what is best for their classrooms.
I am a fighter and I will demand accountability from our management team. That means tightening audit definitions and asking difficult questions of those who over-see our multi-hundred million dollar construction budgets. I will accept nothing less than full transparency even if it on occasion puts me in a bad light. It is time for School board meetings to be fully and publicly accessible. That means in person and zoom meetings where parents have full view of everything and everyone that is in attendance.
Desmond Tutu said that “Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.” We are losing students. We are losing teachers. We have given up honors for our brightest kids at SAMOHI. We have lost arts for our Olympic high kids who need expression most. We have two elementary schools closed right now due to mold. And we are building new $200M+ buildings while many of our schools fall into disrepair. We need change. We need it at the top and we need it now.
I humbly ask for your SUPPORT and VOTE this November 8, 2022!