OP-ED: A Blue-Ribbon Team for Beaverton School Board
By Stefan Jones, Washington County Democrats Communications Team Volunteer and Martita Meier, 1st Vice-Chair
The grueling 2020 election season and the terrible events in D.C. in January have left many people wanting to take a rest from politics. However, there’s little time to rest. Our next election coming up in Oregon on May 18th, and there are important votes on the ballot!
Participation in “off-year” elections is very poor, hovering around 20% turnout with many positions on the ballot left blank. But it is these very elections that determine who sets policies in our schools, parks and rec districts, and in city government.
Most of the open seats in the 2021 elections in Washington County are for the school boards. School board members make decisions that have far reaching effects on students, families, and communities.
The decisions they make determine the quality of education students get which impacts their future, and the future of our students, is the future of our communities, our state, and our country.
We’d like to talk today about a crucial set of races, for the Beaverton City School Board.
- Susan Greenberg, Beaverton School Board, Zone 1
Susan has the endorsement of the Washington County Democrats
- Karen Perez-Da Silva, Beaverton School Board, Zone 2
Karen has the endorsement of the Washington County Democrats (see her interview here!)
- Sunita Garg, Beaverton School Board Zone, 4
- Ugonna Eniyinnaya, Beaverton School Board, Zone 5
These candidates have all been endorsed by Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, Washington County Commissioner Nafisa Fai, Mayor Lacey Beaty, City Councilor Nadia Hasan, and THPRD President Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg.
An important topic this year: Covid, and getting kids back to school
Progressive candidates want to get students back in class. We all know that this time during the pandemic it has been tough on both students and parents. Students are excited to see their friends again, and parents want their kids to get the best education possible. As Progressives, we care about how to best serve parents, their children; our communities, and their health.
These progressive candidates of the Beaverton School District are committed to safely bringing our kids back to school while minding the feedback we receive from scientists and medical experts. Timing is everything, and we need responsible electeds who will open the schools in a timely and responsible manner.
You can count on these four candidates to get your kids back to school safely.
You might be wondering why Karen and Susan are endorsed by the WashCo Dems, but not Ugonna and Sunita?
The Washington County Democrats have an endorsement process that has traditionally wrapped at the end of our March Central Committee meeting. There are a few deadlines candidates work to meet in order to feature their endorsements in as many venues as possible. There is the deadline to get into the voter pamphlet, and the Washington County Democrats (as we print slate cards), also have to get those printed and distributed for our Neighborhood Leader Program volunteers.
For those of you who may be newer to politics: being someone who is a great fit for holding an office, i.e.: relevant background, strong depth and intersectionality of understanding… does not mean you automatically know all there is to know about being a candidate.
This year is special. Many local electeds and activists worked to engage our diverse communities to find great candidates who are excited to do the work to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion to our school boards. Sunita and Ugonna said yes, and have been on a whirlwind ride, learning the ropes of candidacy as they headed the call of their communities.
Many of our fellow Washington County Democrats support all four of these candidates for their progressive values. These four women are running together on a platform of progressive values, and as such, as a vice-chair of the party, I want to encourage support Sunita and Ugonna as we get out the vote for this election.