Several people have come to me with questions about the new voting system, and I wanted to clarify some things and give some context around what occurred and what it means for all school board elections starting this November.
Last year, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) issued a formal demand to the NHUSD board, alleging that “at large elections” (the way we had always done it) violated the California Voting Rights Act. “At large elections” allow anyone in Union City and the NHUSD area of South Hayward to vote for any of the school board candidates on the ballot. The intent of the act is to ensure that the public is able to vote for candidates that represent the demographics of a community. The intent of MALDEF’s demand specifically was to ensure that the school board adequately represented our Latino community.
The district engaged with a third party demographer, who analyzed voter data, conducted workshops, and interviewed stakeholders. They then drafted several maps of voting districts— all of which complied with the California Voting Rights Act. After additional workshops and public meetings, the board approved this map.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, that all depends on where you live! Here are my (unapologetically biased) opinions.
In the yellow area (Area 1), you can vote for me! You can also plant a sign in your yard to show your support— I’d really appreciate that 🙂
In the green area (Area 2), you can vote for Michelle “Shorty” Parnala. As I’ve mentioned in the other posts, she is an experienced board member, who has had 8 years of NHUSD board tenure and has deep connections within our community. As important, her Latina heritage represents the demographic of her district. A vote for any other candidate in this area seems to miss the point of entire process that we just completed, as it does not deliver on the spirit of the California Voting Rights Act.
In the red area (Area 3), you can vote for Sharan Kaur. Since serving on the board with Sharan, her courage in asking the tough questions, her keen eye for detail, and her ability to stand her ground when the going gets tough have been invaluable. . She is experienced and a great partner.
The theme across all of my recommendations is experience. In the times we are facing, there has never been a greater need to have stable and seasoned board leadership. It takes time to settle into a . Our students can’t move forward if our board is going backward.
Regardless of where you live, here are some things you can do.
- Donate to my campaign. Getting the message out through mailers, yard signs, and advertising is expensive.
- Tell a friend. If you know someone who lives in Area 1, please encourage them to vote for me.
- Like, share and comment my social media posts. This will help boost my posts so that more people can see them.
- Actually vote. Local elections affect you directly! Start from the bottom of the ballot and work your way up.
- Attend a Candidate Forum or a School Board meeting. It’s really important that you see the candidates in action. For a really qualified candidate, the best campaign material is watching them in action. There is one coming up by the League of Women Voters on September 28, 2020.
Our children and families deserve leadership that will move us forward. Together, we’ve got this!