Last night we had a very lively debate at the Kreps Conference Room at Redwood High School. It was a very nice event that the League of Women’s Voters in conjunction with Marin Promise promoted in order to bring together the four candidates vying for the three seats for the Tamalpais Union High School District here in Marin County.
I am the underdog, especially given that apparently a community of people were so worried about the candidates that they urged Cynthia Roenisch to run for the position at the 11th hour. She’s a former trustee.
The Marin IJ endorsed all the other candidates but me and the The Marin Women’s Political Action Committee only endorsed Cynthia.
I am the only candidate speaking about diversity and the environment. Apparently these are not popular subjects in a school district that is white privilege and has the largest carbon footprint, per capita, than the entire United States.
I was posed a question last night that I should have answered better and so I am posting a more thoughtful answer about how I would properly respond to the teachers’ concern about their pay and the prohibitive costs of living in Marin County.
I trust I can inspire more people with my answer. Marin County is one of the most segregated racial and economic counties in the country and we have a great opportunity to change that with more affordable housing. San Francisco years ago encouraged homeowners to divide their homes into smaller units in order for homeowners, especially the aging ones, to have an opportunity for earned income and still stay in the area. Why are we not considering this in Marin County?
Perhaps my story can serve as inspiration – I live in a small two bedroom apartment and I gave up my bedroom to a single immigrant mother and her two children. I sleep on the sofa and I get the best tamales in Marin County! I also get to engage and be connected to some of the most diverse cultural groups here in Marin County . . . one year a group of Guatemalan Mayan women dressed my daughter with ribbons and traditional Mayan clothing for a beautiful event. I feel blessed to be raising my own daughter with multicultural values and people I highly respect.
We believe we need so much, but do we really? I am incredibly grateful to help another woman, especially a mother, who would be struggling tremendously and likely be getting abused or exploited, as many immigrants do in this county. I also say to myself that if I feel the right to live in a county that can justify paying slave wages, then I should feel justified in helping them be able to live without fear. That is a duty. And if Marin County is unwilling to fulfill that duty, then I will take on that duty on a personal level.
As I said last night at the forum, it’s high time we ask who and what we are . . . and without pointing fingers, this is the high time to face ourselves and be bold and courageous, while being kind and generous. If anyone can be the source of inspiration, I believe Marin County could carry that torch. But, we need to have believers.
Taking on the Global Challenge The Future of Education for TUHSD
America is facing a crisis.
Our schools can be the pillars of solutions.
Problems (short list):
* 50% loss of global wildlife in past 40 years
* Ocean acidification * Melting polar icecaps
* 50% dead coral reefs * Contaminated drinking water
* 500 US mountain tops removed for dirty coal
* Animal factory farming back to The Jungle levels
* only 3% food is grown organically nationally
* Lack of compassion and social justice
* Loss of integrity
LOSS OF POWER AND PRIORITIES
Solutions (short list):
* Defund aggressive male dominated sports (football) – Channel funds for global youth empowerment, leadership travel programs connecting to real leaders
* Fund gardens to connect to food and collaboration, more art, dance & music
* Create animal sanctuaries, those that have been exploited:
(Giraffe? Elephant? Cows and Pigs?)
* Engage in problem solving with real life issues
* Join Marin County’s initiative DRAWDOWN , by Paul Hawkens
* Student Ambassadors get three weeks out of school to pursue national, int’l conferences, projects for social justice, peace and/or environment to be real leaders of real issues
* Plant based, organic, plastic free lunches only
* Electric bike commuting sourced and funded
* Demand companies profiting off schools to give back now (NFL, Tech Giants)
TAKE BACK POWER AND PRIORITIES
Barbara McVeigh for Real Change NOW!
April Peebler, Founder of Heirs to our Oceans (Global Youth Movement)
Michael Stocker, Writer and Global Environmentalist
Etelle Hougenet, Global Environmentalist
Joe Rouse, President of SEA, Writer
Yep, she’s sticking her neck out with these amazing ideas. BE THE CHANGE. Such is the sign of an educated person and a civil society.