Children are each family’s precious legacy to society. All families bring their beliefs and values to discussions about their children. A genuine partnership with families requires that we listen, pay attention to their perspectives, and drive learning and opportunity equality for all children across the economic levels.
Taking into consideration the profound impact of COVID-19 and the expanded movement for racial justice and equity, what do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how do you propose to address them?
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the political and societal issues we must address and it has presented new challenges that affect us today and will likely persist into the future. The issue of racial justice and equity is particularly intensified. The fear which pandemics generate causes people to focus inward to protect themselves rather than considering how we can work together to protect everyone. Fear is a powerful and negative motivator for actions that can be fed by ignorance. Understanding and supporting diversity across the differences of race, gender, culture, religion, age, and capability/disability, is learned in many places including at home; in school; in churches, temples and synagogues. I propose that we institute programs in the schools and places of worship to educate our children and families on the value of racial diversity and fund learning tools (e.g. computers) for low-income children and families to learn at home during the pandemic.
How will the priorities you addressed in the first question be reflected in the way that you approach the budget process?
The programs I advocate can be funded in a mix of ways. Through non-profit fundraising drives, with matching community budget funds, and from dedicated community budget funds. Education is a critical equalizer for opportunity attainment. As my local political position allows, I will support and promote these programs.
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 a local town candidate, I can support affordable care and pre-school programs in our community with options to help the children of the residents as well as children of the workers who serve our community every day. As my local political position allows, I will support and promote these programs.
What steps will you take to improve inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities?
Children with special needs are presently handled by the comprehensive program within the Los Gatos Union School District (LGUSD). The LGUSD provides support to all students with disabilities In addition, a full array of placement options exist to provide a continuum of services, based on the student’s identified needs. I am a strong advocate for all of these 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?
LGUSD's Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during COVID-19 Outbreak is providing free breakfast and lunch services through December 31, 2020 and will evaluate extending this program as needed. All meals are free to those 18 and under regardless of income. LGUSD has computers available for low income students. As within my political influence, I will support programs that assist the low income families' to assure their children receive equal educational benefits. as my local political position allows.