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By Julian Peeples

“We need to take back our school boards and statehouses one at a time,” says educator Ingrid Gunnell. “We cannot allow anybody to get elected to school board who is not 100 percent in for public education.”

An educator in Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 24 years, Gunnell is running for Glendale Unified School Board in Trustee Area B, pledging her expertise and passion for public education in service to her hometown. Gunnell was recruited to run for office by people in the community and is endorsed by the Glendale Teachers Association in the June 7 election.

Ingrid Gunnell with sons Gianni and Frankie, both Glendale Unified students.

A member of United Teachers Los Angeles, Gunnell is also a member of the CTA State Council of Education, currently serving as the chair of the Political Involvement Committee. Gunnell is born and raised in Glendale and her two children attend school in the district. She is endorsed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who said Gunnell is “the candidate we need to stand for truth and equity in education.”

Gunnell is running to: protect Glendale educators’ ability to teach truth in their classrooms; ensure that Glendale Unified bargains in good faith with its employee groups; and provide mental health support to Glendale students and staff, who have endured great trauma in recent years.

“The pandemic laid bare and no one can deny,” she says, “our students, faculty and staff need mental health supports.”

Gunnell says she is running now because of the confluence of multiple crises that impact our public schools: a nationwide mental health crisis compounded by the pandemic, a teacher shortage at dire levels and amplified right-wing attacks on public education, curriculum and science.

“I am not going to let democracy die without a fight,” she says.

Gunnell is one of many educators running for office this year, both in the coming June primary and in November (Let us know if you’re a CTA member running for office). She encourages CTA educators to get involved in their home districts and help the local educators association by supporting their candidates or running for office themselves.

“It’s important because they need us. It’s critical that we have educators who know the landscape run for school board,” Gunnell says. “We know our profession and we can uplift our colleagues in the district we live in. Now is the time to get involved in that local.”

Support Gunnell’s campaign by donating or volunteering – sign up to phone- or text-bank from anywhere. Visit ingridgunnell.com to learn more, donate and keep up with the campaign, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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