HUSD’s Jeff Cook on Proposition 8

Hayward school board incumbent candidate Jeff Cook wanted to get this “My Word” piece into The Daily Review this weekend, but because of the way these things are planned and laid out, it’s a bit too late for that. Never too late for The HayWord, though.


Yes on 8—For the Children


Marriage is either a sacred institution ordained of God between a man and a woman—or it is not.  For many of us, it is really that simple.  Have you thought to pray about it?  However, even for you non-believers, or “secular believers,” there are compelling reasons to preserve traditional marriage—and those reasons are about children, not adults.


The fatal flaw in all the arguments in support of same-sex “marriage,” and against Proposition 8, is that they are all about the wants and needs of adults.  The historical anthropology of marriage shows that its primary purpose has always been to conceive, raise and protect children.  The overwhelming body of research demonstrates that children have the best chance for success with a father and a mother in a low-conflict home.  (The one third of children that grow up without a father in the home accounts for about 80% of all negative youth statistics.)


Opponents of Prop 8 claim that it is “unfair and “discriminatory,”  which appeals to people of good will who don’t want to be unfair, but it only has validity if you have already redefined marriage as merely a relationship between adults primarily for adults.  The “sexual revolution,” easy divorce, and the media have all contributed to the cultural weakening of the traditional marriage and its transformation into something primarily for the needs of adults.  Same sex marriage may be the final nail in the coffin.


Thus, the assertion that Prop 8 has nothing to do with schools is ludicrous.  If Prop 8 does not pass, the legalization of same-sex marriages will undermine the ability of traditional parents to teach their children the meaning and importance of marriage.  If you wish to teach your children that marriage is a sacred relationship between a man and a woman sanctioned by God or society as the best way to organize families and rear children, your children will be taught in schools that this is not so—that there is nothing special about the marriage of their mother and father, and that all family configurations are just as good as any other (and therefore the sex of the husband is irrelevant to the role he plays as husband and father).


You doubt this?  As a school board member, I assure you that it is already happening in our schools.  But it goes beyond that.  Just last week here in Hayward there was a publicized example of a kindergarten teacher exposing her students to the concepts of “gay, lesbian and transgender.”  These concepts are routinely discussed under the guise of “anti-bias” or “anti-bullying” curriculum.  For example, the book, “King and King” is used for little children, which depicts two princes marrying and kissing.  Can’t we teach children not to bully or mistreat others without indoctrinating them with adult agendas and sexualizing them at inappropriate ages?  Teachers have actually been trained that they do not need to notify parents of such discussions.  This “curricula” is more pervasive than has been acknowledged by the school district. 


Why are we spending time and resources on this kind of social engineering in our schools when less than half of our students can even read at grade-level proficiency? 


I have been warned that publicly breaking ranks from the school district on this issue will likely ensure my defeat for re-election.  Then so be it.  Parents need to know what is really happening in schools, and that it will become more pervasive if Prop 8 fails.  The preservation of marriage and the protection of our children are far more important than whether I continue serving on a local school board.  Vote Yes on 8—for the children.


Jeff Cook


Member, Board of Education

Hayward Unified School District


Democrats wrap parties around weekend walking, phoning

Politics is pretty scary business, and Eden Area United Democratic Campaign volunteers will prove it tonight when they celebrate a “Fright Night” Halloween before making the final push to Tuesday’s election.

They have reason to celebrate. Their “get out the vote” campaign helped Democratic registration soar in Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro and San Lorenzo during the past five months, as the Alameda County registrar of voters disclosed this week.

Beginning at 7 tonight, volunteers — in costume, campaign coordinator Edith Looney hopes — will enjoy candy, popcorn and soft drinks at the campaign headquarters, 1139 A St., in Hayward while watching “Young Frankenstein” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Then, at 8 a.m. Saturday, they’ll be back at work again to get the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket elected on Tuesday. For 12 hours, volunteers are scheduled to walk precincts or to call other states, reminding other registered Democrats to get out and vote.

More walking and phoning is scheduled on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, ending with another big party — the Democrats hope — after the polls close.


Democrats increase lead in state, county, Hayward area

The Democratic surge in state voter registration, reported today by the California Secretary of State’s office, is spurred in part by efforts in the Eden Area United Democratic Campaign.

Volunteers working out of the Democrats’ local office on A Street in Hayward registered 700 new voters last weekend, reports office manager Edith Looney. Now, the volunteers will spend between now and Election Day walking 300 precincts in Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and other unincorporated areas on behalf of local and national candidates.

Personal cell phones in hand, they’ll also be calling voters in other states the next two Saturdays on behalf of the Obama-Biden ticket.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters reported Wednesday that the county had 787,971 registered voters. Overall, that’s up from 734,171 — nearly 54,000 voters — from Sept. 9, the last voter registration listing.

The latest party registrations weren’t available from the county Wednesday. However, in September, registrations in Assembly and state Senate districts covering the greater Hayward area tell the story. In the 18th Assembly District, represented by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by a margin of 56 percent to 19 percent. In the larger 10th state Senate District, represented by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, the margin is 51 percent Democrat, 20 percent Republican.

In both the Assembly and Senate districts, “declined-to-state” voters in September also outnumbered Republicans.


Hayward trustee query #2: What is the greatest challenge facing the district?

This is the next set of responses to a Daily Review questionnaire sent to candidates in the running for the Hayward Unified schools trustee positions. Remember, those who did not return a questionnaire are not included, for obvious reasons.

Without further adieu, question 2: What do you consider the greatest challenge facing the district, and do you have any suggestions on how to help the district overcome that challenge?

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An unexpected election twist?

There’s no love lost between the San Leandro Teachers’ Association and district Superintendent Christine Lim, whom the association now and in the past has accused of trying to influence elections in favor of “rubber stamp” trustees who will endorse Lim’s programs and budgets.

But, this tactic — in support of two challengers running against two incumbents on Nov. 4 — could fizzle with an off-the-record tip that Lim is among six finalists for the job of New Haven school district superintendent.

Reportedly, Lim has informed her staff and San Leandro trustees that she is a finalist for the top post in the 13,000-student New Haven school district serving Union City and south Hayward. On Wednesday, New Haven representatives are visiting San Leandro to learn about Lim’s leadership. On Saturday, two finalists are expected to meet with the New Haven board, and an appointment could precede November’s election.

Lim has headed the 8,700-student San Leandro district since 2003.


Question to Hayward trustee hopefuls: Why are you running?

Our Hayward schools trustee election coverage came out Sunday (two-year seat) and Monday (four-year seat). It’s a very large field, and due to space constraints we couldn’t get too in-depth with the candidates. But we are happy to share the results of our questionnaires, at least for those candidates who returned one — those who are not represented here were contacted and interviewed via phone for the stories because they didn’t get the questionnaire back to the Review. Please note: Loretta R. Robertson has dropped out due to an unexpected health problem. That narrows the field to just, oh, 15 candidates for four seats.

We’ll have more questions and answers posted in coming days, but for starters, let’s find out: Why are you running for school board?

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A look inside the Review

Some of you are probably aware that there have been beat changes at the Review (as was mentioned in one of the blog comments). In late August, the Review and the Argus in Fremont adopted a structure in which reporters comprehensively cover everything in their towns — city government, education, crime and other various subjects that fall under the heading of that city (unless otherwise noted). Here’s a breakdown of who’s covering what at the Review:

    HAYWARD: Eric Kurhi
    SAN LEANDRO: Karen Holzmeister

Some of the more county-oriented governmental stuff is being taken care of by our county reporter at the Oakland Tribune, Chris Metinko. However, we are putting less emphasis on some of the more mundane governmental items and more emphasis on larger issues.

The restructuring was part of an effort to more effectively use the resources we have available. So please take note of who to contact when you have a story idea. It may not be who you were dealing with before. Everyone still has the same phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

And, as always, I’m at 510-293-2468 or ksantos@bayareanewsgroup.com.


Night Owl hoots on Bijou

The Night Owl has posted an entry on Bijou, downtown Hayward’s newest attempt at a hot spot. Will it be successful? Have you visited and developed an opinion? Head over to the Night Owl and leave a comment. Or leave it here. We love comments.

On a related note, there’s said to be a lot of available empty space in the new Century Theatres complex. What would you like to see move in? What would be a good neighbor for the karaoke yogurt bar…