Oakland school board: Serve city’s families, not your political agenda
Original article found here.
By Noel Gallo
In my 28 years as an elected official in Oakland — first as an Oakland Unified School District board member and now as a city council member — one of the many things I’ve learned is that I can’t tell my constituents what to do. I don’t tell them where to go to church. I don’t tell them where to buy groceries. And I especially don’t tell them where they should send their children to school. My constituents tell me what they need in their community, and it’s my job to help make those needs a reality.
I serve a primarily Latino community that’s similar to the East Oakland neighborhood in which I grew up. While the public health and economic crises have hit my district particularly hard, the reality is that there are emergencies for our families every day — long before the pandemic, and likely after, too. The emergency I hear about most often is education. Families know how important education is to their children’s futures, and yet they are painfully aware that there are not enough high-quality public-school options in Oakland.