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Ernie DeTrinidad announces his candidacy for MDUSD board

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 4:58 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Mt. Diablo school district parent Ernie DeTrinidad has announced his intention to run for a seat on the school board in November.

Here is the message he has just sent out to the community (which I am reposting with his permission). Please note that the message is in both English and Spanish. I have italicized the Spanish translation:

“Family and Friends, Parents, Students and Residents of MDUSD,
Familiares, Amigos, Padres, Estudiantes y Residentes de MDUSD,

It is with humble pride that I announce to you all that I am a candidate for the Board of Education of Mount Diablo Unified School District in this election year 2012.
Es con mucho orgullo que les anuncio mi candidatura para ser miembro de la Mesa Directiva de la Escuela Unificada de el Distrito Monte Diablo (MSUSD) en la eleccion de Noviembre 2012.

Although we have shining stars throughout our District, they are few and far between. They are heavily outnumbered by our schools that are struggling and are below state standards. This District is in fact in the Program Improvement status with the State Board of Education for its low performances. It is for this reason that our District needs to allow and be open to change. Its attitude and lack of positive connection with our communities is a major reason of our low performance.
Aunque tenemos algunas excelentes escuelas en nuestro distrito, estas no son suficientes y se necesitan muchas mas. Hay demasiadas escuelas que estan bajo los standards establecidos por el Estado de California, y como consecuencia, el Distrito de Monte Diablo ha sido incluido en la lista de ‘Programa de Mejoramiento’ por falta de rendimiento. La falta de comunicacion con nuestras comunidades es uno de los motivos de esta desmejoria. Nuestro distrito necesita abrirze y permitir cambios positivos.

I am standing up to hear and voice your concerns, ideas and promote the tremendous need to do better for our students and schools. All residents of our District need to be represented and allowed access to the Board and District.
Me ofrezco a ustedes para escuchar y transmitir sus preguntas e ideas y promover la tremenda necesidad de ayudar a nuestros estudiantes y mejorar las escuelas de el Distrito. Todos los residentes de el Distrito necesitan ser mejor representados y tener acceso a la Mesa Directiva y el Distrito de una manera mas efectiva.

Support me in raising our District pride by voting for me, Ernie DeTrinidad, for a seat on the Board of Education for the MDUSD this upcoming November Election 2012. As a way of supporting my campaign, please forward this message to all your family and friends. Feel free to contact me with ideas, comments and/or concerns.
Apoyen mi candidatura para ser miembro de la Mesa Directiva de la Escuela Unificada del Distrito Monte Diablo (MSUSD) en la eleccion de Noviembre 2012. Por favor envien este mensaje a sus familiares y amistades como manera de apoyo a mi candidatura. Si tienen preguntas, ideas y comentarios me pueden contactar.


Ernie DeTrinidad”

Here is an information sheet that Trinidad forwarded, which I am also posting with his permission:

“Ernie DeTrinidad

 Clayton Resident for over 11 years
 Born and raised in San Francisco
 57 years old
 Hispanic, bilingual in Spanish and English
 Married for 21 years
 SF Giants Fan
 Father to six kids, youngest goes to a MDUSD elementary school
 Retired with 28 years in Construction Industry as a Crane Operator

 Volunteer in:
o School Classroom- 3 years
o Safety Committee- 1 year
o Parent Patrol- 2 years
o School Site Council- 2 years
o Rep for school at District English Learners Advisory Council (DELAC)- 2 years
o Member of Master Plan for English Learning (EL) Task Force- 8 months
o Manager/Coach for Junior Optimist Baseball League (JOBL), Concord -3 years
o American Cancer Society-Relay For Life 2012 – 6 months

 My goals, developed from my involvement and interaction with MDUSD, are:
o To make the District Board to be representative of the District population it serves: schools, students and parents.
o Promote leadership and involvement with staff and faculties.
o Bring student performance and achievement to state standards and higher.
o Negotiate fairly, and with concern for well being, with our respective unions.
o Provide transparency in all District matters.
o Change for the positive should be our new direction; my desire is to be a part of that change.

The present Board is not meeting the needs of today’s issues. The Board is not providing leadership and partnership between the District and its staff, site administrators, faculties, unions, business community, residents and our students are on the receiving end of this dysfunction.

With the tremendous budget cuts from the State and the disarray the State shows in its policies, it is up to the Board to provide stabilizing platform for the District and the residents it serves.

While some of our schools are performing well, the District as a whole is below state standards and this needs to change. Our site administrators and faculties, district staff are some of the most talented, dedicated and capable. The Board needs to find a direction that takes advantage of these valuable resources. It must also reflect the population it serves.

It must Open the Door to better dialogue and understanding the community in its entirety. Let’s Open the Door to give our students the advantages they need to deal with today’s world. Open the Door to better communication practices to allow the community to voice their opinions and concerns. Open the Door to better understanding between the District and staff, union
representatives, site administrators. The Board must go to the community not just the community come to the Board.

I am running for a seat on the Board and would appreciate your support!”

Please note that I am posting this to inform the community about DeTrinidad’s candidacy and this blog post is not an endorsement. If any other candidate wishes to submit a similar statement, I will post it as well (as I did for Brian Lawrence).

Board President Sherry Whitmarsh and Trustee Gary Eberhart will be up for re-election, but neither has said so far whether they intend to run.

Bay Point resident Debra Mason told me she is also running, but I have not received any official announcements from her. Mt. Diablo teachers’ union President Mike Langley told me that he also knows of one other person who is considering running.

Like Brian Lawrence, DeTrinidad said he is willing to respond to questions posed to him in comments on this blog post.

Do you support DeTrinidad’s candidacy?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

17 Responses to “Ernie DeTrinidad announces his candidacy for MDUSD board”

  1. Wait a minute Says:

    I have no doubt that Mr. DeTrinidad will bring a much needed diversity of thought and opinion to this board which has been become regressive and highly manipulated with horrible decisions for the real owners of this district.

  2. Theresa Harrington Says:

    All three announced candidates were at last night’s meeting, but DeTrinidad was the only one who spoke — in support of the EL Master plan and against the contract extensions.

  3. Mdusd Employee Says:

    Lawrence didn’t speak? About anything?

  4. Ernie DeTrinidad Says:

    I’am afraid the contract extensions were a done deal.Not even a compromise of any sort, just give them what they want? The disregard the majority of this Board has to residents of this District, to the possibly new Board coming and to each other is painfull to say the least. The repercussions of such behavior needs to be realized come November. Can November get here too soon!!! Thank you Wiat A Minute, I know together we can bring a Change. I applaude everyone that spoke up last night and showed this Board that residents of this District are standing up.

  5. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I assume you are referring to Brian Lawrence. No, he did not speak. It was a long meeting and he did not stay until the end (I don’t think the other candidates did either.)

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Ernie, there was a compromise, since the contract extensions were shortened to one year, as you suggested, instead of being extended two years.

  7. Brian Lawrence Says:

    Ernie, welcome to the race.

    @MDUSD employee, I did not speak last night but I plan on speaking during public comment (or the related agenda item) at the next Board meeting. There were many powerful and eloquent speakers last night- it is unfortunate their views were not given greater credence.

    I made it past midnight but left after item 16.13- limiting Health benefits for Board Members. I would have seconded Ms. Hansen’s motion- the topic is worthy of discussion.

  8. Ernie DeTrinidad Says:

    Theresa, thank you for the info. Well at least thats something, only one year. I don’t understand the Boards insistence in extending the contracts at all to begin with,there are many options out there as evident from Sacramento’s experience, but if the possible new Board decides on a different direction it won’t be too difficult to manage. Performance and compensation usually go hand in hand, for some reason not here in MDUSD. I did not stay till end, left after 11pm, again appreciate those that did.

  9. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Ernie and Brian: What do you think of the comment made by Trustee Linda Mayo, that new board members would not know enough about the superintendent and top administrators — or about the complicated workings of school districts — to be able to make such an important decision as contract extensions right after being elected?

  10. Brian Lawrence Says:

    You become a board member the day you are inaugurated- there is no grace period. I’ll take my chances on making the hard decisions immediately if I am elected.

  11. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#9 Don’t forget there is “School Board Member Training” both by reading the California School Board Association website and by attending their classes. I believe Linda Mayo is the only one on the current Board that completed the courses. And even though you didn’t ask, that statement by Linda Mayo is patronizing. You could make the same ridiculous statement about being US President, California Governor, or any elected office.

  12. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I spoke to a classified union rep last night who said she felt it was also patronizing toward voters. It was her impression that the board didn’t trust voters to elect someone who was smart enough to do what was best for students.

  13. Anon Says:

    TH # 12. The funny part of that is voters are obviously not smart enough. Look who we elected. Gary and Sherry Linda ……

  14. Wait a minute Says:

    It is certainly patronizing but more then that it is extremely arrogant to insist that you know better and its obvious that these people suffer from narcissistic personality disorder even if it was not for the underhanded corruption and dealing going on.

  15. Ernie DeTrinidad Says:

    Board member Linda Mayo,and I’am sure she is not alone on this way of thinking and acting, was way off base with her comment on new Board members not knowing enough about our Superintendent and top staff or the complicated workings of a District to make hard but appropiate decisions. I’am confident that at the very least the new Board would seek public and professional input not just allow for the continuation of a failing system. Her patronizing and wanting to protect the new members from making decisions that they may in fact want to make borders on dictorial.As a candidate I’am insulted. I do not need her to make presumptions on my ability to make decisions for the residents that support me,thank you anyway. I would like very much to show her how I can make decisions.

  16. Ernie DeTrinidad Says:

    This current Board,by their actions,just told the resident voters that they do not have confidence on the voters choices for the Board, if there are new members elected. That the new members,if any, would not know how to deal with current staff, all current staff, on their performance and results and therefore how to award or reward or not.This really is a shame. No public servant should display such disregard for the residents it serves.

  17. Susan JunFish Says:

    This is a message for Ernie De Trinidad:

    Hi Ernie, I’ve been searching for your e-mail address on behalf of the Lamorinda Democratic Club so that we can invite you to fill out a questionnaire to be considered for endorsement by LDC.

    After over 30 mins on the internet, I finally found this site where at least I may be able to contact you. Another volunteer and I contacted you by phone in the past 2 days. I just wanted to make sure we give every registered Democrat an opportunity to be endorsed by LDC. You can contact me at The short form is due next Friday.

    Thank you Theresa for giving candidates an opportunity to discuss issues in this forum.
    Theresa, I met you at the LDC meeting where you presented a few months ago. You had said that a parent in San Ramon or Danville had contacted you about concerns over pesticide spraying in her area and you mentioned that you may be able to locate her contact info for me.

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