Setting Direction for Increased Educational Opportunity and Success

I attended the 2019 California Democrats Endorsing Convention this past weekend as an elected Delegate for Assembly District 22. In advance of the weekend, I submitted amendments to the Party's PLATFORM in the Education, Disabilities and Criminal Justice "Planks."

I was excited to learn that the Platform Committee was recommending that a number of my proposed amendments (also edited by Tiffanee Jones & signed on to by Austin Tam, Shay Franco-Clausen & Hene Kelly) were being recommended for approval by the entire State Delegation.

This morning (Sunday, November 17th) the Platform amendments were passed by the Party's State Delegates (myself included) and NINE (9) of the amendments were those proposed in our submissions (See below)!

This updated statement of Party values, which includes statements of disabilities rights, as well as acknowledgment of biases in our systems that unfairly impact and impinge upon the civil & human rights of many demographic groups is important!

Thanks to my team, thanks to the Platform Committee, the Plank subcommittees. and to the CADEM Delegates for approving the Platform amendments today!

🌟 Plank: Criminal Justice/Adopted Changes:

  • Support the increased oversight of juvenile justice agencies and the implementation of trauma-responsive justice systems grounded in adolescent development to yield better outcomes for youth and reduce racial and socioeconomic inequalities;

  • Work toward ending the systemic bias that harms students with disabilities and disadvantages students based on racial and socioeconomic status.

🌟 Plank: Disabilities/Adopted Changes:

  • Encourage municipalities and local governments to establish disability advisory bodies, such as commissions on disabilities, to assist in considering issues, needs, accommodations and unique perspectives of people with disabilities;

  • Prioritize making California a leader in embracing inclusive educational practices and achieving successful educational outcomes for students with disabilities;

🌟 Plank: Education/Adopted Changes:

  • Strive for full proficiency in English language arts and mathematics especially for historically low performing demographic subgroups such as socioeconomically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, foster youth, English language learners, and certain historically underperforming ethnic groups;

  • Work to close our opportunity and achievement gaps by leveraging the flexibility of Local Control Funding Formula, engage parents and communities to develop accountability plans benefiting all students, particularly low income, English learners, foster children and students with disabilities;

  • Seek to end zero tolerance policies that criminalize student behavior, work to identify the root causes of behavior and institute school discipline reforms that are centered around counseling, education and positive behaviors;

  • Ensure that sworn peace officers in schools are adequately trained to work with children and teenagers, that the use of force against students is unacceptable except in extreme circumstances, recognize and address persistent issues of bias such as institutional racism, and understand the need for increased empathy of potential atypical reactions of students with disabilities;

  • Advocate for schools to use restorative policies and practices and to engage in regular bias training in regard to student discipline situations to halt the school-to-prison pipeline;

This is progress! And it is exciting to be able to make this contribution to the Party's Platform and Vision for the future!


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