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(Op-Ed) Vote for Reason, Intelligence Nov. 6

Reader Jon Spangler writes about who he plans on voting for and why for the upcoming elections for Assembly, City Council, Board of Education, and the Healthcare District.

From Jon Spangler:

Alameda is facing significant choices for Assembly, City Council, Board of Education, and the Healthcare District.

Rob Bonta is best qualified to find legislative solutions for Alameda’s school funding deficit and California’s governmental quagmires.

Stewart Chen, DC, and Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft are the most experienced City Council choices for Alameda’s transportation, land use, and environmental future. The Sierra Club liked their records.  

Ron Mooney, Niel Tam, and Mike Robles-Wong will bring reason and intelligent analysis to solving Alameda Unified School District's complex problems. Mooney and Tam steadfastly supported expanding AUSD's anti-bullying efforts in our schools. As a Franklin volunteer for three years, I saw firsthand the need for Lesson 9—which helps ALL students. Mike Robles-Wong always brings an intelligent, independent, and logical perspective to the table. Taking on the State of California shows this former police officer’s courage and determination. 

Trustee Spencer repeatedly opposed the anti-bullying curriculum and aligned herself with conservative political groups like S.E.R.V.E. and the Pacific Justice Institute, which promoted bigotry under the guise of "family values." I cannot fathom why.

Incumbents Jordan Battani and J. Michael McCormick have worked hard to take Alameda Hospital in the right directions amid a fast-changing health care environment. They deserve your vote.

Alameda needs more reasoned solutions — not inconsistency or partisanship — in this often emotional and overheated atmosphere. Please vote for Bonta, Chen, Ezzy Ashcraft, Mooney, Tam, Robles-Wong, Battani, and McCormick next Tuesday to bring reasoned and intelligent analysis to bear on Alameda’s many complex problems.

Bara Waters November 02, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I'm aghast at Mr. Spangler's blithe contention that Mooney and Tam "will bring reason and intelligent analysis to solving Alameda Unified School District's complex problems" when they are partly to blame for perpetuating those problems. Rubber-stamping proposals put forth by the current superintendent (including self-serving, undeserved raises for top administrators and hiring an overpriced, union-busting attorney), ignoring desperately-needed capital improvements and raises for teachers, and approving long-term leases for overpriced and offsite district offices does not qualify as "bringing reason and intelligent analysis to complex problems"—it smacks of cronyism and business-as-usual. Distorted and false claims against Trish Spencer over a poorly-designed anti-bullying curriculum is a red herring in this election. The REAL problems faced by this district are the ones on which Trish Spencer voted "no" and was the sole voice of "reason and intelligence." The candidate who has consistently had the courage to stand up for what's right on the most dire issues is the one who has my vote—Trish Spencer.
John Piziali November 02, 2012 at 03:15 AM
why didn't she stand up for gay children when the votes were taken, four votes and she voted no three times all against the "anti-bullying lesson 9. We who watched the meetings or attended the meetings remember.
Karry Kelley November 02, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Trish Spencer repeatedly voted against protecting ALL of Alameda's children. She claims she wanted a program that covered all. When she got it she voted NO. Ms Spencer prides herself on voting no. If Lesson 9 and the all inclusive literature lesson were so flawed why hasn't she done anything to promote her ideas for a better curriculum? It's been 2 years where are your proposals, where are your idea's?. Voting no to protect our young people is not a voice of "reason and intelligence."
Henry O. November 02, 2012 at 05:36 AM
"False and distorted claims against Trish Spencer"?? Community members have found minutes and actual video showing that Trish Spencer voted AGAINST the expanded curriculum, not FOR it, as she claims. It's appalling that the teachers in this district think that community members shouldn't speak up about a local politician's record. Don't we want the students to learn to take a stand when someone is doing something wrong? The main thing they're learning now is that if parents speak up, they get attacked by the teacher's union.
Jon Spangler November 02, 2012 at 07:54 AM
Bara Waters, I am absolutely convinced—after watching them and, in some cases, working with them on projects like library and school bonds--of the integrity, intelligence, effectiveness, and ability to reason possessed by the candidates I have endorsed. No one has bought my support or my endorsement, blithely or otherwise. Ron Mooney and Niel Tam may not always vote the way I would have in their shoes but I know they do not act purely for short-term political gain or to misconstrue their voting records as being what they were not. Trustee Spencer has distorted the truth about her votes against a moderate and long-studied anti-bullying curriculum. And her opposition to Measure E flies in the face of her “kids first” campaign slogan. The Lesson 9 proposals—certainly no “red herring” for LGBTQ families and students—were developed after months of community study and engagement. They were only "poorly-designed" if one wanted to support bigotry, which begets violence. We might not have our current estranged district-versus-teacher relations had Measure E passed. Trish Spencer's lack of support made the difference. I am also troubled by some of the BOE's recent decisions and disagree with others. But I am equally troubled by union leaders who engage in hypocrisy and exaggerated propaganda campaigns against Superintendent Vital and the BOE. I never "rubber stamp" anyone and I stand behind my recommendations.
Soccer Dad November 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Mr. Spangler, I do not know you, but I must note that yours is the most rational, well-reasoned argument I have seen on this site or any other this election season as they regard the Alameda school board. What boggles my mind is that Barbara Kahn and Jon Murphy are running on a ticket with Spencer. Does that mean they tacitly endorse her abominable position on the anti-bullying curriculum? If not, why would they hitch their star to this particular wagon, so to speak?
Jon Spangler November 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Soccer Dad, If I knew the answer to questions like yours--or why the AEA would endorse candidates who opposed school funding measures like Measure E and the Lesson 9 curriculum that they supported and worked for--I would not be editing high-tech press releases for a living and could retire a wealthy man... :-) As it is, I am just an involved citizen and try to stay informed on the issues in our community. And I make decisions in the most rational way I can after I understand the issues and the facts involved--not easy during election campaigns... :-)
alameda vigilante November 05, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Remember that, in most cases, the "experienced" incumbents are responsible for the sorry, near-bankrupt, over-taxed state Alameda is in now! Be very careful who you return to office! Trish Spencer is an exception, a gem in the gravel pit.
alameda vigilante November 05, 2012 at 09:10 PM
By the way, Jon, your ability to identify "reason" & "intelligence" is rendered suspect by your perpetual endorsement of status quo incumbents. It takes no original thinking to rubber-stamp those backed by traditional political machines. I wonder why you bother?
joel November 05, 2012 at 11:54 PM
We voted for Spencer , Kahn they opposed the AUSD leasding costly offices whiles they do have excess of properties , it does not make any sense . AUSD is a waste .


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