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: Greg Bonaccorsi.
Candidate for: Ohlone Community College District Board of Trustees
Experience: Science and math educator in Fremont Unified School District since 1988; CTA Board of Directors, District B; Ohlone College Board of Trustees since 2008; Fremont Unified District Teachers Association member.
Why: I am the only lifetime public school educator to serve on the college board, as well as the only candidate who is a union leader representing public school educators statewide. This combination of experiences grounds me as I work with my fellow trustees on leading the district to meet the needs of our students, especially our students of color, and to ensure that Ohlone College is a safe place to work for our faculty and staff.
Top issues: Increase our college’s capacity and be a gateway to higher education and career/vocational training, with a renewed emphasis on students of color; maintain high-quality educational programs and services for all students; and keep Ohlone a healthy place to work and learn during unprecedented challenges from COVID-19.
Distance campaigning: I’ve been limited to earning organizational endorsements as well as individual endorsements. The challenge is that these are happening earlier than before, since the aim is to have all of this in place before the Vote-by-Mail ballots are distributed on Oct. 5. This tight timeline makes campaign flyers (published by union printers) that could be used for walking precincts unlikely. I am taking advantage of publication by the League of Women Voters, as well as investing in signage that will be posted alongside the roadway, as safe ways of communicating with voters.
Choosing to lead now: Given the uncertainty of the times, it is important that those leaders who have steadily been there, have gained important experience and have established connections with other agencies (such as local school/college districts, city councils, state government elected leaders), continue to do the work for the community. While it is important to renew and refresh elected boards over time, it is also important to keep the level of experience at a high level in order to meet the current challenges.