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Alameda School Board Candidates: Check ‘Em Out

Yes, it is late in the election cycle — and there’s certainly been a lot to keep up with as we get set to vote for a new Alameda mayor and two city councilmembers on November 2.

But if you want to help Alameda schools improve their academic and financial standing, it’s time to make an educated vote for two slots on the school board.

The website of the Alameda Education Foundation is the place to turn: The AEF and Alameda’s PTAs co-hosted a forum for school-board candidates on October 19, and the event can now be viewed online.

Candidates Mike McMahon, Clay Pollard, James Pruitt, Margie Sherrat and Rand Wrobel participated in the discussion.

The videos are very helpful for residents who want to get to know the candidates better before casting their votes. Within the first 10 minutes or so, it becomes very clear what the priorities are for each candidate and what each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses are.

And after all the SunCal-related bickering in town, these discussions are a constructive change of pace.

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Alameda’s new school board’s first night in action

I watched only the smallest snippets of last night’s school board meeting from the comfort of my own home, but Michele Ellson of The Island was there and issued a full report. One highlight: newly-elected board member Trish Spencer nominated Ron Mooney for board president and then, after Mooney withdrew his name from consideration, Spencer nominated Mooney a second time, that time for board vice president. In response to which, second term board member Tracy Jensen withdrew her name for consideration for the position.

So, Alameda, your new school board president is Mike McMahon and your vice president is Ron Mooney. Retired principal Niel Tam, rounds out the group of five. You will likely be hearing more about them as the state budget continues to collapse and board members are faced with ever-more-difficult choices about how to run AUSD schools with less.

In a sign of the miserable economic times, the Alameda Education Association, which represents district teachers, has asked simply to extend their current contract for another year. Hopefully, turning their energy toward fighting state-level mid-year budget cuts to education funding.

Ellson’s whole report is here.

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The big election day has finally arrived!

Just as they’ve been across the country, voting lines were long this morning at Alameda’s Edison Elementary. [Left: Anna Martin walked over to the polls with daughter Esther. Right: Evan Ackiron with daughter Samantha waiting in line to vote. ] evan voting
mom and daughter votingI’ll have more on the election as the day goes on. If you’re still waffling, I recommend a big no on Prop. 8, which would deny same-sex couples the equal rights that have already been granted them by the California Supreme Court. For school board, I cast my votes for Ron Mooney, David Forbes, and Niel Tam. And here’s some info about the city’s Measure P.