Last week, CAA hosted a community forum with select candidates running for the San Francisco school board in this coming Tuesday’s election. Some newly enfranchised immigrant parent voters will also be making history as non-citizens will finally be able to vote for school board members.  This form of civic engagement from these and other immigrant parents is great for both the school district and the City as more people are able to have influence in the decisions that affect their lives. 30 CAA parents were in attendance and engaged candidates on core education issues including immigrant rights, parent engagement, and education equity.

Candidates Alison Collins, Michelle Parker, John Trasvina and Li Miao Lovett were in attendance after being invited based on their responses to a CAA questionnaire developed, sent, and reviewed by CAA immigrant community members, many of whom are parents of San Francisco Unified Schol District (SFUSD) students.  

Throughout the night, candidates discussed their budget priorities, their strategies on holistic education outcomes, and their agenda to foster supportive learning environments for SFUSD’s diverse student bodies.

Concerned community members asked questions about student wellness, immigrant rights, and language accessibility. Candidates and community members also discussed school choice and student assignment and the need to increase information and resources available to parents.  Nearly 50 invited parents invited by CAA were in attendance and along with our efforts for non-citizen voting, reinforced our commitment to greater parental involvement in the schools and increased civic engagement of all immigrants.

CAA has also been engaging with SFUSD, the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, and the San Francisco Department of Elections to ensure that immigrant parents understand the rights and risks associated with voting in the school board elections. Ad through our work in the Immigrant Parent Voting collaborative, we are actively providing spaces for immigrant communities to engage in civic affairs. A special thank you to the candidates who participated.