Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Supporting Effective Leadership in School Board

As residents in the UBC/UEL portions of Electoral Area 'A' we are also able to vote for candiadtes to the Vancouver Board of Education. Being able to have a voice and an impact in the Vancouver Board of Education discussions is critically important for our community.

Over the past decade essentially uncontrolled development at UBC and in the UEL has increased the pressure on our two local schools -University Hill Elementary and University Hill Secondary. Both schools are seriously over capacity and many of our more than 1500 school aged children are forced to find school placements outside of our community. This has to stop.

For close to a decade rebuilding and expanding school facilities have been held up in a "he siad, she said" tug-of-war. UBC administrators and officials in the planning department and UBC Properties Trust say they have plans to solve our school needs but that the School Board doesn't do anything. The VSB officials have said that they are willing to move forward but given the provincial government's rules and regulations they are stuck. And the provincial government? Well, they have remained mostly silent. Meanwhile the situation continues to worsen as new developments are opened across campus and in the UEL.

One thing that we need and that we can do something about is to make sure that we have a school board who will listen and who will care about our communities.

In this year's school board election I am supporting individuals, not political parties.

In this year’s election I will be supporting Patti Bacchus (Vision), Ken Clement (Vision), Carol Gibson (NPA), Alan Wong (COPE). I am voting for these people because of what they have done either for public education or for their particular communities. They come from different political parties but what they share is a real commitment to education and a demonstrated capacity to listen to our community. There are other candidates who stand out, but these four candidates have a track record of listening to and working with diverse groups of people. These people have demonstrated the capacity to listen. And, they have the courage of their convictions to act when action is called for.

Patti Bacchus has been a long time parent activist. While I was on the Vancouver District Parents Advisory Council executive I have seen Patti at work as a committed parent activist. She is just the type of person that we need on school board.

Ken Clement is a strong community -based activist who is committed to an inclusive education system.

Carol Gibson was one trustee who really stood up for our local schools during the last year. She is honest and forthright and deserves to be reelected.

Alan Wong is a current trustee. As a member of DPAC I have worked with Alan and know him to be a committed and honest person who will do what is best for our students.

On November 15th I will be voting for effecitve local leadership.
I will be voting for Bacchus, Clement, Gibson and Wong.

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