Santa Clara County Voter's Guide On Children's Issues

East Side Union High School District

Lorena Chavez

I’m running to raise expectations and open a new world of opportunity for students and families in San Jose. If we do this, ALL of our kids will be able to pursue their dreams, have pride in where they come from, and blaze trails of innovation across the 21st Century.

  1. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?

    Education- Students deserve to have access to an education that will educate the whole child, have access to the arts, life skills, and be exposed to different pathways/careers. They should have access to a 21st-century education. This would allow for students to have the tools to become contributing members of our community and excel. Affordable living- We need to make sure our future generations have access to affordable living. This affects low income residents and teachers who do not make enough money to live in the area. Health Care- Regardless of immigration status, families should have access to universal healthcare.

  2. How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?

    I would fight to educate the whole child, so that students have a well rounded education that includes electives like the music and arts along with collaboration with CBO’s that prepare our students to be both academically be civically engaged. I would work with municipal governments on getting ahead of the impact and potential displacement of low-income families, when approving any type of development. I would work to keep pushing affordable housing for both community members and teachers. I would work with the municipal government and CBO’s so that our families, regardless of immigration status, have access to healthcare.

  3. 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?

    As an educator, I am well aware of the stark reality of lack of early education for our community. I will fight for early childhood education for every child, including expanding access to Head Start, Early Head Start, and creating national universal pre-kindergarten. I fundamentally believe that participation in high-quality preschool programs has lifelong benefits for a child as well as for the whole community. If we address early education, then the opportunity gap will not exist.

  4. What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?

    Children with special needs or disabilities are some of our brightest children that deserve access to the best education. It starts with us acknowledging that they are smart. Then, we need to make sure that they have the resources they need to excel and meet their needs. That, coupled with great teaching, and high expectations and expectations that they can excel in many general education classes is what they need to improve inclusion and outcomes for kids.

  5. 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?

    It starts with advocacy. I would advocate for our children, regardless of their background or zip code have access to healthy food, preschool/ early education, and tutors and enrichment activities. I would fight so that we could collaborate with our community based organizations, businesses, and municipal government so that we can bring about these resources and ultimately meet the need of our children so that this opportunity gap doesn’t even start.