Some people are just born to lead. This has to be why educators across the state are rising to serve their communities in the midst of multiple crises that threaten our collective health, safety and future prosperity. They’re campaigning for election like never before, finding new and creative ways to reach voters while maintaining safe social distancing and healthy practices.
We’re shining a light on some of these dedicated educators running for election during this chaotic time – leaders who are rising to defend our students and fight for the schools and community colleges they deserve. Here’s the next in this series: Chris Cruz-Boone.
Candidate for: Bakersfield City School District Board of Education
Experience: Educator since 2006, currently teaching a variety of courses in department of communication at Kern Community College; member of Kern Community College District Community College Association.
Why: I want to be an advocate for my own children and the other youth in my community. I waited until my children were old enough, 11 and 13, to understand and give consent regarding the commitment of our family running a campaign.
Top issues: My platform focuses on a vision beyond COVID that includes promoting the arts, collaborating with higher education, and advocating for social and racial justice. There are several progressive candidates running in my district, but I am the only one who has identified social justice as my primary long-term focus. I will push hard to implement ethnic studies and simultaneously challenge the deficit thinking model still facing brown and Black youth in Kern County.
Distance campaigning: My strategy for campaigning during pandemic involves making a lot of phone calls. Myself and my awesome 13-year-old plan to keep making phone calls until Election Day. A lot of folks are working remotely or shut in, and my experience has been that those who answer are receptive and welcome the conversation. It is hard to get to know people without face-to-face interaction, so I have been blogging about my life and probably went a little overboard with my website.
Choosing to lead now: Public schools will never go back to the way they were. This is the moment when I believe we can reimagine our schools as something better. My doctoral research focused on education technology and improving student persistence, and I know I can help keep our district on track with its mission of access and equity. As a mother helping my own two children learn remotely, I will speak with the voice of a parent. I am unafraid. I will speak truth to power.