I believe and am committed to Excellence and Equity for all children and families. I will uphold that high levels of learning is achievable and expected for all students, by varying the allocation of resources, including time, money, and expertise, to ensure that every child succeed.
What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
1) Affordable housing - As a City Councilmember, I will advocate for housing close to work and transit, and mandate Moderate and Below Market Rate housing in new developments 2) Access to early childhood education - I will support measures that secure State funding for universal preschool 3) Mental and emotional health of children - I will promote programs in the city, in collaboration with local public school districts, to educate parents regarding children's mental and emotional health issues, to raise awareness on both prevention and access to professional treatment
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
I will work with City's resources in securing land for affordable housing, including senior, moderate, and below market rate units, and make sure that budgeting for construction of affordable housing is secured. While the City does not have funding for early childhood education, there are opportunities for City's Park and Recreation Department to offer preschool-like classes to provide early learning experiences at minimum cost. I will advocate for funding to the Library for additional program spaces, to provide access for all children to programs offered at the Library beyond classroom learning.
What steps will you take to address the high cost and lack of availability of quality child care and preschool programs in our communities, especially for low-income children and English language learners?
City resources can be allocated through the following venues that offer preschool programs and extracurricular activities at minimum cost or free of charge - 1) Park and Recreation Department - Preschool programs, before and/or after school courses (academic and/or enrichment), performing art, sports and Physical Education classes 2) Public Library - Allocate City budget to supplement library programs in engaging students in healthy social interactions, shared learning experiences, and friendship building 3) Expand Teen Commission Program to empower more teens to participate in civic and leadership training, as well as cultivating social responsibility and volunteerism in teens
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
Within the City, there are various non-profit organizations that do good work in the community. Dedicating City resources to support non-profits in developing programs for children with special needs and with disabilities is a good way to combine the expertise of non-profits with City's budget to serve these children. Non-profit organizations such as the Northwest YMCA, Organization of Special Needs Families, West Valley Community Services, High School District Adult School, and various religious groups can offer classes and professional services to children with special needs/disabilities. It is financially prudent to collaborate with non-profits instead of developing City's own programs.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the "opportunity gap" that low-income children and children of color experience, including lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors and enrichment activities. If elected, what steps will you take to address this issue?
Partnership is key to address "opportunity gap" - it takes a village to educate children, thus it takes the same village to close the opportunity gap. The City can collaborate, and lead with vigor, with local non-profit and service organizations to provide free healthy food, after-school tutoring classes, and enrichment activities to low-income families. The City can join force and resources with organizations such as West Valley Community Services, Northwest YMCA, Uplift Family Services, the Rotary Club of Cupertino, Cupertno Host Lions Club, Quota International of Cupertino, Community Language Schools, religious groups, etc. to provide equitable access for low-income families.