APS SCHOOL BOARD FOR DISTRICT 2
1) Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?
I more then agree, we are.
2) Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed by 2030 to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and to avoid catastrophic runaway climate disruption?
3) If elected, what specific policies or actions will you initiate in your first year of service to begin transitioning our schools away from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy within the timeframe set by the world's leading scientists?
Thats a very tall task because NM Public Education Department relies on oil and tax revenue. School board members need to support all initiatives that make our campuses more green and environmentally conscious, plus the APS fleet of vehicles to pursue EV tax credits going forward.
4) What are the current needs you see at APS or SFPS and how do you plan on addressing those issues if you are elected? What is your vision for the ideal relationship between communities and schools? elected, what specific policies will you initiate and support to transition our economy to a net zero carbon economy in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?
APS not only has a teacher shortage crisis, going on 5+ years, but the district just unveiled a 5 year plan with no mention of recruitment of teachers or goals to retain teachers. There are more teachers close to retirement then there are college students ready to become teachers. I work at a community school, I am a major advocate for community partnerships in schools....the more people working on problems the better.
5) What role do you believe education has in preparing students actively contribute as community members and to address the issues inherited and faced by each generation?
The world is a very competitive place and if you don't have the education tools to read, write and speak well, you will be taken advantage of at work, in money transactions, housing leases and many other ways. Education is the ticket to compete in the world.
6) What are the pressing issues facing young people today?
Let's write a novel about the surplus of issues facing young people today from global warming, high cost of living, low wages, debt, and lack of financial mobility. The big issue is not being organized, like past generations. If the hippies had social media, the could have exposed and changed so much more corruption. Young people need to use their advantages or get taken advantage of.
7) How can a student's race, class, and gender impact their education?
Every human is unique and experiences their own obstacles and a lot of it comes down to geography. Is your school in a tough neighborhood, does it have technology or not have technology, are the class sizes 15 students (new school) or 30 students (old school). I've worked at George I. Sanchez and Tres Volcanes, same designed building, completely different environments in how the district treats one better than the other. Equity in schools, always.
8)Do you plan on engaging students and families as a board member? How?
I ran for a variety of reasons, but a main reason was the lack of engagement between the current board and the community. During the pandemic the board made a lot of important decisions in closed meetings. I plan to always be transparent and confront issues with the community. I read, write and speak Spanish so I can involve thousands in Albuquerque who are often left out.
9) Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental justice issues, do you have experience working with impacted communities to co-develop solutions?
I have canvassed for conservation voters of New Mexico to try and get a land commissioner elected who understands water rights and preserving New Mexicos rich land from big oil companies trying to frack everything up. I've always done geography survey's to recommend street lights in areas with high crime. My experience working with the community and advocating to solve problems would serve me well as a board member.
10) Many schools are majority students of color, and if they were colleges would be considered Hispanic Serving Institutions. Recently, that term has been challenged and critics are now calling them Hispanic Enrolling institutions unless they can clearly show how they have been serving students, their families and their communities. The measures used include graduation rates, matriculation in the next level of education, success at the next level, equitable participation in Honors or AP classes and programs, a teaching staff that is representative of the students' cultural/national backgrounds, a governing board that is also representative, a curriculum that is reflective and representative of their histories, languages and experiences, equitable resource allocation in curricular and extra curricular areas, and meaningful engagement in decision making around policies and budgets. How is the district doing based on these measures and what are your plans for improving on each of these?
Fracaso total! At my school there is a Spanish teacher and a Navajo teacher, neither is recognized as bilingual. Hmmm? By definition, they are bilingual as they are teaching in two languages. Both teachers have bilingual endorsments (permits) on their teacher license, qualifying them to teach bilingual. The district cheats both of them out of $5,000 dollars a year and all bilingual teachers have left for Texas or elsewhere in the past 5-10 years.
11) The role of public schools is currently very contested in the US, with corporations insisting that schools should prepare (and help stratify) future workers, and extremist groups like Moms for Liberty pushing the idea that schools should eliminate any critical discourse, ban books and punish un-Christian and anti-American behavior. There is another important, and growing school of thought that says schools should contribute to the "success" of the communities they serve. This thinking, which relates back the progressive schools movement as well as traditional and indigenous education practices, sees schools as a community asset rather than a corporate or ideological tool, and insists that all communities (and their children) can thrive through asset based work rather than just survive with the help of basic services. Which of these three roles do you support, and why, and what are your plans for enhancing the district's progress towards those goals?
People over profits, don't be a tool. I've been offered money by some political special interest groups for this campaign and simply refused. My opponents have raised 35K and 70K. I question there intentions, motives and who has their hooks in them already.
12)There is another shift in demographics occurring, aside from the racial and ethnic base, that sees students concentrated in newer areas of the district and in overcrowded schools, and schools being underutilized in older neighborhoods. Districts are also losing students due to lower birthrates, displacement from gentrification, and the preference of middle and higher income families for public charter and private schools. As a result, districts are under pressure to close schools, consolidate enrollments, and sell off properties. All of these options have potential serious negative consequences. What do you see as those negative consequences and what do you propose instead?
Los Rancho$ schools are being gentrified left and right. It makes me sick, they have plans to close and consolidate Taft and Garfield over to Taylor middle and La Luz elementary to MacArthur. Those are longstanding schools, neighborhood schools. Basketball games bring the whole community together, neighbors come to watch. The district is non transparent about its master plan for these community schools that they treat like high dollar properties.
13) What connections do you believe exist between our education system and environmental and climate impacts? How will you work to ensure our education system our education system has a positive impact on environmental and climate justice if elected?
There are a lot of very positive programs at schools in Albuquerque that are teaching students to love our land and be stewards of the land for all of our future. Science classes in the middle schools really stand out in the past few years, across the city I see great programs like Gamers who Garden and other community gardens or programs that cultivate our land.
14) How do you see public schools playing a role in a just transition away from fossil fuels for NM? How will you help move this if you are elected?
New vehicles in the APS fleet should meet the environmental standards outlined in our State. If it will help the environment, if it will help students...I'm voting yes.
15) Is it critical to include Indigenous and Traditional Land Base Knowledge when developing a curriculum around climate change?
16)Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM
Keystone XL pipeline is a perfect example nationally, in New Mexico you can look how close and how much money big oil has invested into getting near Chaco canyon. These big companies care about money, they don't care about our land, about us and certainly not about our educational system.
17) Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations? Explain. you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice?
Environmental responsibility is something unfortunately that fewer people seem to practice every year. As the world grows, so does our consumption and our waste output (trash, plastic, carbon emissions, etc.). I look at companies like the Ocean Project and I always dream of a Desert Project type group. Anyone reading, you can steal that idea.
18) How can pollution and contamination impact schools and students? Do you believe it is the fossil fuel industry and utility corporations' responsibility for clean up?
During this campaign the water at Polk middle school was showing brown. We owe it to all our campuses to invest in clean energy and safe environments, including drinking supply.
19) Do you support the State Land Office’s moratorium/prohibition on new oil and gas leasing on state trust lands within one mile of schools or other educational facilities?
20) What is your opinion on the fossil fuel divestment actions from different educational institutions throughout the country?
Invest in the future, divest in fossil fuels. The planet needs us all to do our part and when you see major institutions taking a stance, it's because they understand the moment and the future. Everyone can do their own little part, everyday.
21) Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No