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The Truth About Trish Spencer

Voters must ask themselves why so much effort and money is being expended to defeat School Board candidate Trish Spencer.  

Trish Herrera Spencer is the one School Board member who deserves to be reelected.  She stands up and votes for her beliefs in public education, for her commitment to each individual student's success, for respecting and valuing the work and dignity of every school district employee, and for prioritizing fiscal expenditures that directly support classroom education rather than administrative bureaucracy.

Much time, effort and money is being expended to defeat Trish in her school board race.  Negative Robocalls and letters to the editor distort the facts about her voting record: rehashing a four year old principled vote on LGBT curriculum, and blaming her for the district's Measure E defeat as well as for low teacher salaries.   Even Bill Schaff, wealthy businessman, former School Board member and $5,000 (reported so far) contributor to the other two incumbents' campaigns, wrote:  "Measure E was perceived to be unfair. . . we have a new parcel tax (Measure A) that is more transparent and considerate of all parties. . . it takes into consideration most of the issues that held the last parcel tax back."  Trish worked for Measure A and it won!   Alameda Teachers Association strongly supports Trish Spencer, and yet one teacher (who is known to dislike the teachers' union) engages in the toxicity of negative robocalling filled with deceptions against Trish.        

Trish is not homophobic.  As a supporter of the LGBT community, I attended many meetings to ensure that AUSD's curriculum was inclusive for these students and their families.  Trish objected to the policies being developed because they were not comprehensive in addressing our commitment to all six protected classes under California Law.  From her perspective as a minority person who had been bullied, as a mother whose special needs child had been bullied, and as a trained lawyer who cannot omit the fine details, Trish was compelled to fight for her issue.  We discussed and argued.  Although we still disagreed in the end, I could not help but have respect for her integrity.  For Trish, it was a district curriculum policy issue and did not affect her support and commitment to the LGBT community.

Trish is a threat to those School Board Members who rubber stamp policy brought to the board.  She is well prepared and articulates her positions. Unlike other board members who say nothing, turn their back on the public, and/or are disrespectful to speakers, Trish encourages dialogue with students, parents, employees, and the community.  She is the one Board member who voted against both leasing new office space for $3.3 million and raising the superintendent's salary.  She is supported by the teachers and other employee groups.

I encourage Alamedans not to be single-issue voters.  Consider what is in our total community's best long term interest.  Our School Board needs to be more reliable in fiscal decisions, accountable in community discourse, and responsive in employee relationships.   We have a four year history of our three incumbent candidates, and only one deserves to stay:  Trish Spencer.

Janet C. Gibson,

Retired Alameda teacher                                                                                 Two term AUSD School Board Member

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

joel November 06, 2012 at 07:34 AM
Wrong Trish has put Children first , against the AUSD the reason they are running that campaign , it's about time someone ask the hard question , The AUSD is a money pit , their last financial bravado to lease space , while they have excess real estate is the proof in the fruit cake. If you want to fix the economy start by yourself then local Governement and State , Don't impose taxes on other to cover your stupidity, this define the AUSD those last few years all more pretentious and incompetent than the previous " starting by Chacona's era" ther one that said the departure of the navy will have little impact on the AUSD , I guess He was wrong........
joel November 06, 2012 at 07:56 AM
@Jennie You need to keep the open mind Her critics do not have , I find it a farce to say the least to have Rev Laura Rose slamming Her when we all know Gay are not welcome under the cross , as late as the last century they gave them electro shock to deprogram them all over the world , prior to that every time they had a chance they would simply kill them , at time after torture to remove the devil from them . not too long ago every school in North America did the same with Teachers and Professors as they saw them as the one spreading AIDS , at that time we took a Gentleman with full blown AIDS as , yes Baby seater ! we always refer to Him as Uncle .....We need someone to stand against the waste , the pompous atitude at the AUSD , raising taxes will not solve the problem they have excess real estate , yet literally throwing away our tax dollars , this is why Teachers stand behind Ms Spencer .
Jackie JacksonDaley November 06, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I agree with Ann 100%. As the leader of the group to bring an after school program for children with special needs to Alameda (as there is NO after school care for our kids here now, and they have to ride the bus to Berkeley!), I spoke to the board on multiple occasions, asking for their help. ONLY Trish Spencer made the effort to actually do something to help us. She met with us multiple times to help us brainstorm, while the rest of the board just smiled and nodded and asked us to come back and report on our progress (while doing nothing to support us). Trish is the ONLY board member I met who was more interested in doing what was RIGHT rather than doing what was going to win her popularity. She has my vote!
Janet C. Gibson November 06, 2012 at 07:35 PM
It's voting day and soon we'll be able to take a rest. Since we all seem to be quite involved, it may be a short one. If there is a new majority school board, I think there are ways't to revisit the Marina Village lease--especially if Prop 30 doesn't pass and more funding cuts loom over education budgets. I think Trish Spencer will win. If she does, she'll continue to voice her opinions strongly. I know that she wants to address some of the legitimate concerns that have been expressed during this campaigns. However, I realize that no amount of positive data or explanation will change the minds of those who just don't like Trish. But try anyway! Give some appreciation to this very capable, honest, hard-working community leader.
cturnover November 06, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Thank you Ann I too endorse Trish for voting against Vital's raise, and the new administrative offices neither of which puts kids first. I do not think the district is being run properly and any voice of dissent is valuable. I respect that she has differing opinions and does not feel the need to rubber stamp the superintendent. I also strongly agree with you that the school would not have these problems if parents did their job to teach their children values and behavior.

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