Candidates and Questions for Tonight’s Mayoral Forum

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by Alicia Ross
National Director, Parent Leadership

This evening, we’re excited to have local San Jose candidates join us for the San Jose Education Candidates Forum. Parent leaders from Rocketship schools in partnership with parent leaders for Downtown College PrepAlpha: Blanca Alvarado Middle School, ACE, KIPP, Voices, the California Charter Schools Association and PACT have all been working together to organize this voter education event, which will be moderated by our parent leaders. 

San Jose Mayoral candidates Dave Cortese and Sam Liccardo will join Santa Clara County Board of Education candidate Darcie Green and Alum Rock Union School Board candidates Claudia Tercero and Esau Herrera to discuss their visions for the children of San Jose.

Questions for Mayoral Candidates:

  1. What are your priorities as mayor, especially in response to our city’s rising rates of youth homicide and low rates of youth employment?
  2. As mayor, how would you work to not only expand high paying jobs in Silicon Valley, but also improve the quality of our workforce through partnering with educational leaders and parents to prepare low income students of color who are underrepresented in our universities and tech jobs and over represented in our jails for economic success?
  3. In order to address the achievement gap and to prepare students to meaningfully participate in the global economy, what role do you see for school choice and innovation in education?
  4. What role do you believe the mayor should play in supporting facilities for the replication of high performing charter schools?

Questions for Santa Clara County Board of Education Candidate:

  1. If elected, what is your vision for how the County Office of Education operates and responds to the current needs of students throughout the County?
  2. As a County Board Trustee, how would you use your leadership to work to close the achievement gap in Santa Clara County and what role do you see for school choice in that endeavor?
  3. How would you work with mayors, districts and charter schools throughout the county to ensure that we are preparing our region’s students for competitive jobs, particularly students who are underrepresented in our universities and high paying jobs and over represented in our jails and low wage jobs?

Questions for Alum Rock Candidates:

  1. If elected, what would be your top three priorities for the Alum Rock district, and how would the district be different with your leadership?
  2. As an Alum Rock Trustee, how would you use your leadership to work to close the achievement gap?
  3. What is your opinion of the landscape of school choice in Alum Rock and under your leadership, what would you like to see happen in the future? How would you promote collaboration between schools?


    San Jose Education Candidates Forum

    When: Monday, October 6, 6:30pm

    Where: Mexican Heritage Plaza (1700 Alum Rock Ave)

    There’s still time to RSVP!

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Alicia grew up in Anaheim, but has lived in the Bay Area and Sacramento for the last 16 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from Santa Clara University and a Master of Liberal Arts in Spirituality from Naropa University. Alicia worked in the field of community organizing with the PICO National Network for the last decade. She served as executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together (ACT) for six years, where she expanded ACT’s “Stand Together Campaign” to decrease youth violence by helping to spearhead the creation of a local parcel tax campaign to generate resources for youth jobs and the piloting of the Ceasefire Strategy to reduce gang violence in Sacramento. Prior to this, Alicia was a community organizer with People Acting in Community Together (PACT) in San Jose, where she was extensively involved in education reform efforts, helping to create new small, autonomous public schools and advocate for increased parent participation in district decisions. Alicia led a successful parent organizing effort to launch the first ACE Charter Middle School in the Alum Rock Union School District. Outside of her work with Rocketship, Alicia enjoys vegetarian cooking, exploring spirituality, playing the piano and spending time with family and friends.  

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