2020 SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES DEBATE- SAN DIEGO

We received the following announcement:

The PSRO (Parent-Student-Resident Organization) will be hosting a virtual 2020 debate for the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education candidates. Please find the meet the candidates’ information attached.

The goal of this public debate on Education is to listen to our 2020 Board of Education candidates and have a meaningful and respectful dialogue among parents, students, and residents about who will best represent their voices at the SDUSD Board of Education. The candidates will be answering and discussing Area-specific and District-wide questions.

Friday May 29th, 2020
4 – 6:30PM

Please join us through Zoom, Facebook, or conference call through the link below.

Please RSVP and submit your Area-specific and District-wide questions.  https://bit.ly/psro-debate2020

TRANSLATION WILL BE PROVIDEDRSVP (See languages)

Join through:

1.     ZOOM: Join Zoom Meeting 
https://zoom.us/j/98707717072

Meeting ID: 987 0771 7072 
              One tap mobile 
             +16699006833,,98707717072# US (San Jose) 
            +12532158782,,98707717072# US (Tacoma)

2.     Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/543904169590137

MEET-THE-CANDIDATES

District-Only SDUSD Elections Need to Comply with 2001 CVRA

May 13, 2020

TO: San Diego City Council Rules Committee

Council President Georgette Gomez, Rules Committee Chair
Councilmember Barbara Bry, Rules Committee Vice Chair
Councilmember Chris Ward, District 3
Councilmember Monica Montgomery, District 4

FROM: Brian Bonner, First Vice President, NAACP San Diego Branch

SUBJECT: DISTRICT-ONLY ELECTIONS FOR SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

The NAACP San Diego Branch strongly supports the proposal to ask the voters to amend the City Charter to require district-only elections for members of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education. Enactment of this proposal would bring the San Diego Unified School District into compliance with California state law commonly called The California Voter Rights Act. This act requires local elected bodies to hold district elections when certain conditions are met.  Although the city of San Diego is a charter city, a 2017 opinion by the California Attorney General found that “The California Voter Participation Rights Act applies to charter cities, and to local school districts whose elections are governed by city charters.”  

At its core, the NAACP has championed civil rights, especially the right to vote, throughout its history. The NAACP took direct action and participated in legislative and judicial efforts to obtain and protect the right to vote. Congress and President Johnson enacted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in response to the years of oppression and in response action by the NAACP and its partners in the fight for civil rights. That fight continues as voter suppression efforts continue unabated.

The California Voting Rights Act responded to conditions in California that denied civil and voting rights to protected classes.  As recently as 2017, the NAACP California-Hawaii State/State Area Conference recognized the importance of improving the education system for the African-American community by working with elected officials, policy makers, superintendents, school board members and community leaders.  It adopted a resolution that included the following statement “Resolved that the California NAACP communicates this resolution to the California legislature to urge them to create policy that would make school boards in the state to be a better representation of the students and citizens in the state.

Article VI of the San Diego city charter provides that voters in each of the five sub-districts choose the top two candidates for a runoff that includes all of the voters within SDUSD boundaries. Candidates in sub-districts must reside in those sub-districts. All other matters regarding SDUSD are subject to state law.

Several events and trends have converged to raise the issue of changing the manner in which SDUSD elections are conducted. In May 2017, the San Diego County Grand Jury issued a report recommending that the San Diego City Council place measures on the ballot to amend the City Charter to provide for district-only elections, and make other changes.

In addition, school districts across the state, including school districts in San Diego County, have moved to elect school board trustees in district-only elections in response to the requirements of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA). Rather than go to the expense of defending lawsuits they would likely lose, these districts move forward to change from at-large elections to district elections. For the most part, these school districts are governed by the general laws of the State of California. As noted above, In July 2017, the California Attorney General issued an opinion that CVRA applies to charter cities and school districts whose elections are governed by city charters.

The time has come for elections to the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education to become district-only elections. The NAACP San Diego Branch proudly joins with other organizations seeking to change the City Charter to create district-only elections for school board trustees. Again, we ask you to place this proposal on the ballot in November.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Brian Bonner, First Vice President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Opposition to AB2261 – Facial Recognition

May 5, 2020

The NAACP San Diego Branch was founded in 1916, and has been standing sentry over the civil rights of San Diego residents for a century.  Just because we are 101 years old, however, doesn’t mean we don’t understand technology and the dangers to civil rights posed by that technology.

Every danger we face gives the authoritarians in government an opportunity to restrict our liberty, and those restrictions always fall most heavily on African-Americans and Latinx folks.  The “Communist Threat” gave us COINTELPRO, 9-11 gave us the Patriot Act (which was used to target brown folks), San Diego has been using “Smart Lights” to monitor our communities, and now our State legislators want to use COVID-19 to eliminate privacy in public life through the use of facial recognition software.

As usual, beside the loss of privacy that everyone will suffer, an extra burden falls on African-Americans and Latinx folks, because the software simply doesn’t work as well for them.  African-Americans will not be recognized and misrecognized at higher rates than the rest of the population.  This will lead to them being denied services and opportunities at a much higher rate than the rest of the population.

We urge you to write your State representatives and ask them to vote NO on AB-2261.  It will do far more damage than good.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Closing the Beckworth Library

May 4, 2020

Council President Gómez
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Bry
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Kersey
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Sherman
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campbell
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Ward
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Re: The Beckworth Library

Dear Members of the San Diego City Council,

There is a proposal to close the Beckworth Library, near the Educational Cultural Complex.  We understand why you might close it, as it is not the busiest of our libraries.  

However, that library serves a community that desperately needs access to information, be it printed or online.  Many families in the communities it serves, including Lincoln Park, Mount Hope, Chollas View, Mountain View, Southcrest and Shelton, are under stress in the best of times, let alone during COVID-19 and its aftermath.  They NEED a library to provide the books Internet access, and quiet workspace that a Library provides.

Like so many facilities in Southeastern San Diego, it is small, sited inconveniently, and lacks many of the latest amenities.  Perhaps THAT is why it is under-used.

We call on you to find a way to keep the Beckworth Library open AND to begin to investigate siting a new library to serve the District 4 and District 9 communities.  Once we have a modern, convenient, upgraded library for our communities, you may have our blessing on closing Beckworth.

Perhaps, if funds are tight, the City could unload one or two of its unprofitable golf courses.  We fail to understand why an additional $15M needs to be spent to renovate these courses, when 2020 revenues were already projected flat and costs up by $1M, before the impact of COVID-19.  We realize that the three courses taken together have eked out a meager profit, but all that profit is from Torrey Pines.  Surely one of the two money-losers could go.  Not only would we stop sending good money after bad, but we would receive a new infusion of property tax revenue that could be used to foster learning and working for community residents.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Harris & Others Reintroduce Black Maternal Health Week Bill

We are in strong support of Senator Harris’ bill and here reproduce her press release:

Harris, 22 Senators Reintroduce Resolution Designating April 11-17 as Black Maternal Health Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. —On Monday, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) led 22 of her colleagues in reintroducing a resolution to designate April 11-17, 2020 as Black Maternal Health Week to raise awareness about the Black maternal health crisis. The resolution was led in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC).

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black mothers in the United States are three to four times more likely than white mothers to die from pregnancy-related complications and are two times more likely than white mothers to suffer from pregnancy-related illnesses, known as maternal morbidities.

“The potential ramifications that could come with giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic — specifically a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting African Americans — is of particular concern to Black women who were already facing a maternal health crisis in our country,” said Senator Harris. “Now more than ever, we need to address this issue. During Black Maternal Health Week, we must continue in the fight to ensure Black women are taken seriously when they speak about their health concerns, and remove disparities and implicit bias from our health care system.”

Joining Harris on the resolution are Senators Merkley (D-OR), Durbin (D-IL), Blumenthal (D-CT), Van Hollen (D-MD), Booker (D-NJ), Klobuchar (D-MN), Hirono (D-HI), Markey (D-MA), Jones (D-AL), Duckworth (D-IL), Menendez (D-NJ), Wyden (D-OR), Sanders (I-VT), Feinstein (D-CA), Murray (D-WA), Bennet (D-CO), Baldwin (D-WI), Peters (D-MI), Smith (D-MN), Brown (D-OH), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Stabenow (D-MI), and Gillibrand (D-NY).

The resolution is sponsored by Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Center for Reproductive Rights, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Commonsense Childbirth, Every Mother Counts, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, March for Moms, National Birth Equity Collaborative, National Black Midwives Alliance, National Medical Association, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Perinatal Task Force, National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Southern Birth Justice Network, and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

“This resolution says, unequivocally, that Black Moms matter,” said Representative Adams, co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to raise awareness of Black Maternal Health Week, and urge our Congressional leaders to take action on one of the greatest public health crises of our time.”

“The Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) thanks Senator Harris and Congresswoman Adams for their continued support and amplification of Black Maternal Health Week (#BMHW20). As the founders of #BMHW20, BMMA believes that the experiences, voices, and maternity care work of Black women must be centered in order to address the U.S. maternal health crisis – hence the importance of recognizing April 11th – 17th as Black Maternal Health Week!” said Angela D. Aina, Interim Executive Director of BMMA.

“The Center for Reproductive Rights applauds Senator Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Alma Adams on the introduction of this year’s Black Maternal Health Week Resolution. Now more than ever we need recognition of this crisis and federal solutions to save the lives of Black mothers,” said Jennifer Jacoby, Federal Policy Counsel.  Breana Lipscomb, Senior Manager, U.S. Maternal Health and Rights Initiative, and BMMA Board Member added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that chronic underinvestment in the public health infrastructure is deadly and Black people pay the price. This year’s resolution is a call to action, reminding us that in this time of crisis we cannot sacrifice the human rights of birthing people.”

“Black Maternal Health Week is an important opportunity to bring national attention to the maternal mortality crisis facing Black women. This is a year like no other, as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, an emergency that is endangering the health and economic well-being of millions and having a particularly harmful–and deadly–impact on the Black community. Sadly, we know the maternal mortality crisis and COVID-19 disparities share a common underlying force: racism and structural inequality. Now is the time to address those evils in this country once and for all, and do all that we can to ensure health equity along racial lines,” said Dr. Jamila Taylor, Director of Health Care Reform and Senior Fellow for the Century Foundation

The United States is one of only 13 countries in the world where rates of illness and death during pregnancy are on the rise. From 2000 to 2014, the U.S. experienced a substantial increase of 26.6 percent in maternal mortality rates.

A full copy of the resolution can be found here.

###

Censorship of NAACP Message on Racism in San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services

March 02, 2020

The Honorable Grex Cox, Chair
San Diego County Board of Supervisors
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92101

Dear Chairman Cox,

We at the NAACP are absolutely outraged by the actions of the Board of Supervisors.  First, we asked for reasonable accommodation to be heard during Black History Month. That was denied, by YOU, CHAIRMAN COX.  So, we were forced to pare down our presentation, split it between three of our members, and complete the presentation in six minutes.  

But, the more outrageous action was the censorship of our message.  In every other instance where slides were presented at the February 25, 2020 Board of Supervisors Meeting, the slides were broadcast by video to the public.  NOT A SINGLE ONE OF OUR SLIDES WAS BROADCAST. The slides that showed that Dwight Flesher was a racist, sexist, Islamophobe were censored from the public.

While we understood that the one slide that included “profanity” when referring to Muhammad and Islam would not be shown, the Board of Supervisors or Staff decided to censor ALL the slides.  The only logical explanation is that the Board of Supervisors or Staff decided to blunt our message and protect Dwight Flesher from being exposed to the world, despite the fact that he chose to display his racist attitudes on a public forum.  SHAME ON YOU. THE NAACP DEMANDS AN EXPLANATION.   

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President and Acting President
NAACP San Diego Branch


Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit

Racism in San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services

February 24, 2020

Re: Racism in San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services.

On February 25, 2020, the San Diego Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will present evidence to the Board of Supervisors of a racist extremist currently acting as a “housing specialist” for San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services. The San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services runs Section 8 housing for San Diego County.

The San Diego Housing and Community Development office is designed to help those who need public assistance.  Because of America’s long history of racism, Section 8 housing overwhelmingly serves communities of color and other disadvantaged communities.  Discovering that someone in a position of power harbors a deep hatred for the very people he is supposed to help, is incredibly distressing. Persons seeking governmental assistance are among our most vulnerable citizens, and they should not need to fear hatred from very County employees hired to serve them.

During public comment, the NAACP will present a series of facebook posts from this County employee, showing shockingly anti-immigrant, anti-latinx, anti-islamic, anti-African American sentiments.  Such attitudes should not and cannot be held by someone who is in a position to approve or deny welfare benefits.

The NAACP already has evidence, in the form of complaint to the NAACP legal redress committee, that this employee is using his position to intimidate people in need, particularly people of color.   In addition, we know from this complainant that at least one supervisor is aware of this employee’s facebook posts and views. The question is why this employee remains in a position of power.

The NAACP San Diego Branch demands:

  1.  An investigation into hiring practices that allowed a racist to be hired as a housing specialist, including who hired him and the record of racial complaints filed against him. 
  2. An investigation to determine how widespread extremist views are in Housing and Community Development Services. 
  3. A re-evaluation of all the Section 8 cases to ensure that people received the assistance they are entitled to under the law.
  4. The County take steps to protect vulnerable people by ensuring that this employee is no longer in a position of power over people of color, immigrants, and members of religions of which he disapproves.

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President and Acting President
NAACP San Diego Branch


Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit

February 20th, 2020 Executive Committee Meeting

The Executive Committee met at 6pm, February 20th, in Room 347 of the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave.

Executive Committee meetings are public meetings, and anyone may attend. Only Executive Committee members may participate, however.

You may view the interactive meeting packet online.

Or, if you prefer to download the entire packet, you may. Please note that the packet has been updated with financial items that were not made available in advance.