Kelly Gonez Urges Parents to ‘Hold Us Accountable’

 Kelly Gonez Urges Parents to ‘Hold Us Accountable’

Parents who worked hard to elect a new kids-first majority to the LAUSD Board congratulated the new and returning members sworn in earlier this month -- Nick Melvoin, Kelly Gonez and Monica Garcia -- in this Speak UP video tribute. We also spoke in depth to Kelly Gonez, the newly elected representative for Board District 6, about her priorities for the district and the ways Speak UP members can help. Her message to parents: “The most important thing is to hold us accountable.”

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Speak UP Parents and Students Celebrate New LAUSD Board Members

Speak UP Parents and Students Celebrate New LAUSD Board Members

They cheered. They celebrated. After months of knocking on doors, calling voters and mobilizing their fellow parents and friends, Speak UP parents welcomed new Los Angeles Unified School Board member, Nick Melvoin - the candidate they helped to elect. Like Melvoin, newly-elected Kelly Gonez and incumbent Monica Garcia, were sworn in as LAUSD board members during a ceremony last week in downtown Los Angeles.

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Speak UP Congratulates Allison Holdorff Polhill On Joining Nick Melvoin Staff

Speak UP Congratulates Allison Holdorff Polhill On Joining Nick Melvoin Staff

Speak UP extends its congratulations to Allison Holdorff Polhill, who has joined the staff of newly elected District 4 Board Member Nick Melvoin as Senior Adviser and Director of Community Engagement.

I heard a lot from parents and voters, especially in the primary, that they wished they could have both Allison and me on the board,” Melvoin told Speak UP. “This seems to me like the perfect way to do that. She will be the first line of response when it comes to parent concerns.” 

Polhill, who ran as a primary candidate for the BD4 board seat, most recently served as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach for Speak UP, where she was highly successful in convincing her primary supporters and parents at schools in Pacific Palisades to vote for Melvoin in the run-off.

“I am honored and thrilled to be working with Nick,” Polhill told Speak UP. “I am looking forward to seeing all the amazing things that he is going to do with LAUSD.”

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Incoming LAUSD Board Members To Be Sworn-in July 6

Incoming LAUSD Board Members To Be Sworn-in July 6

Newly elected board members, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, will be sworn in at the Annual Board of Education meeting on July 6 at 10 a.m. A reception will immediately follow at 11 a.m.

We spoke to Nick Melvoin, the new Board District 4 representative, who will be sworn in next Thursday. The civil rights activist and former teacher with a ‘Kids First’ agenda said he is ready to roll up his sleeves to fight for good quality education, regardless of a student’s zip code.

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LAUSD Board Watch: Outgoing Board Makes Its Final Mark Tuesday

LAUSD Board Watch: Outgoing Board Makes Its Final Mark Tuesday

The newly elected board, to be seated in July, will have to live with this new budget for its first year but is expected to tackle some of the tough decisions needed to address LAUSD’s fiscal crisis.

“People have to get ready,” Melvoin said. “Righting a ship that has been wrong for so long is not going to happen overnight.”

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Thanks To Speak UP’s Movement of Moms, We Can Change Kids’ Lives On May 16

Thanks To Speak UP’s Movement of Moms, We Can Change Kids’ Lives On May 16

It’s been a long and contentious election season, but there’s been one inspiring, unsung aspect that sets this election apart from any other school board race we have seen in Los Angeles: Speak UP members have created a powerful grassroots movement of parents rising up to demand change on May 16.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we want to celebrate our Speak UP moms from all kinds of LAUSD schools – traditional neighborhood schools, charters, pilots, magnets and dual language immersion schools – who have joined together to knock on doors and call voters to get out the word about Nick Melvoin and his kids-first agenda.

Mothers make all kinds of sacrifices for their kids, and Speak UP moms have given up countless weekend and evening hours with their own kids in order to help create positive change in the lives of all kids in Los Angeles. We are in awe.

And now we need to finish the job by getting out the vote for Nick and by going to the polls ourselves to cast our votes on Tuesday.

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LA Teachers: Why We Support Nick Melvoin

LA Teachers: Why We Support Nick Melvoin

I want a board member that will combat this animosity and the “us-versus-them” attitude the board has adopted. I want a board member that will work to regain the trust of parents and stakeholders in public education. Unpredictability is the albatross of our profession. Yet, it seems to be the only constant. I believe Nick Melvoin will demonstrate the consistency and predictability public schools crave through transparency, collaboration and innovation that will regain public trust in LAUSD.

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LAUSD Mom Picking Nick: I'm Tired Of Us Versus Them

LAUSD Mom Picking Nick: I'm Tired Of Us Versus Them

A whole lot of children on this planet don’t even get to go to school, let alone know the difference between “charter” and “traditional.” A school is a school. I’m tired of the us-versus-them policies of LAUSD. That’s a distinction that gets far too much attention, taking away time and effort from other issues that matter more to children.

Attrition out of traditional LAUSD schools is not being stopped by LAUSD’s practice of pinching charters into difficult and uncertain conditions. It’s a failed policy. You can’t use negative tactics to achieve a positive outcome. The key to maintaining enrollment in LAUSD schools is to provide good schools and good experiences. If you build it, they will come. 

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Unlock the Libraries and Let Parents Volunteer

Unlock the Libraries and Let Parents Volunteer

At Westport Heights, the library is closed. It has been closed since the school year started. The librarian is missing in action, and no one is there to staff it. The parents are not allowed to volunteer to keep it open for our kids because of some bureaucratic labor rule that prevents the library from opening without school staff.

So all the kids at Westport Heights have been without a library the entire school year. They can’t read or borrow the books or even study in the library space that’s in the heart of their school. It’s tragic, and the ones that suffer are the students that attend the community school.

 

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LAUSD Mom to Steve Zimmer: Stop Putting Bureaucrats Before Kids

LAUSD Mom to Steve Zimmer: Stop Putting Bureaucrats Before Kids

Despite the fact that my son attends a traditional LAUSD neighborhood school in Westchester, I am outraged by LAUSD School Board President Steve Zimmer’s vote Tuesday supporting an extreme state “charter killer” bill that could lead to the closure of every charter school in Los Angeles -- harming hundreds of thousands of kids in the process.

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