Lovenburg, Peterson Get Big Endorsements from Enterprise; Delaine Eastin For Measure E

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Peterson-NancyLovenburg-SusanWe can debate how much endorsements matter, particularly newspaper endorsements, but there is little doubt that they can give a campaign a shot of energy.  And so Susan Lovenburg and Nancy Peterson get big endorsements from the local newspaper this week.

“Who in their right mind would want to be a school board member in California during these challenging times?” the Enterprise asks.  “For the past five years, trustees across the state have been forced to slash programs, jobs and facilities in their school districts due to precipitously declining revenue from state government.”

The Enterprise notes that the district has lost $10 million in funding on an annual basis from the state but has filled some of that through parcel tax, concessions, and contributions from the public.

“But Davis school board members have had to make some ridiculously hard choices, eliminating jobs, cutting programs, even closing an elementary school,” the Enterprise writes. “More of those tough decisions loom if the state can’t figure out how to adequately fund public education.”

The question, “Whom do we want leading our Board of Education through the next four challenging years? Of the five candidates seeking election next month, we recommend Susan Lovenburg and Nancy Peterson.”

They argue that Susan Lovenburg has been “a voice of reason, compassion and independence” in her five years on the board.  “She listens carefully, does her homework and then votes her conscience – that’s all any Davis voter can ask.”

The paper adds: “And while a newcomer’s perspective is always welcome and invigorating (see Peterson, below), there’s much to be said for historical knowledge and a long-term view. Lovenburg has cast many difficult votes during her tenure, and the experience she brings from those decisions will be important as Davis – and, we hope, the rest of the state – begins to invest in educational excellence once again.”

“Lovenburg has been a leader in making clear, accurate budget information available to the public,” she adds. “She worked with community volunteers to create District Dollars (www.districtdollars.org), a web-based program that shows how the Davis school district receives money and how it is spent.”

“And while she may sound all about dollars and cents, Lovenburg’s heart is in the classroom. She’s committed to making sure every child in Davis has the opportunity to reach their full potential. She has a long and deep record of school site service and, as the mother of three daughters, is familiar with all levels of the Davis school system,” they conclude before reiterating their endorsement.

On Nancy Peterson, they argue she is “the perfect blend of experience and heart,” citing her years on schools sites, advisory committees, and as president of the Davis High School Blue & White Foundation.

“But her passion for the needs of all of the children of Davis is what sets her apart,” they write. “We’re impressed with her ideas, and with the intellect and work ethic she’ll draw on to guide our school district through the challenges ahead.”

“Peterson has garnered rave reviews from those who have worked with her on numerous school initiatives, from the Montgomery Elementary School Site Council to the Davis Bridge Educational Foundation. They talk about her energy, enthusiasm, listening skills, leadership, courage, dedication, analytical skills, wisdom and fairness,” the Enterprise adds.

They conclude their endorsements, writing: “It’s easy to despair about the future of public education when the daily news is so crushing. But Davis is fortunate to have leaders like Lovenburg and Peterson ready to step up and take charge.”

Delaine-Eastin-2Delaine Eastin’s Letter on Measure E

In the world of politics, the expected endorsement is usually not as valuable as the one that could have gone either way.  That is, unless the words themselves evoke meaning and eloquence.

I still remember the first time I listened to Delaine Eastin speak.  It was 1994, she was running for Superintendent of Public Instruction and her speech at a small house party blew me away.  Little did I realize back then, that later on I would become a community member and get to listen to her speak quite frequently.

Ms. Eastin, a Davis resident, has been a strong advocate for our local schools.

In her endorsement of Measure E, the parcel tax she argues that “we must invest in education.”

I am proud of the residents of Davis and their stalwart support for our children and their schools. At a time when the state of California has made historic cuts to our schools, this community has stood by its children by passing parcel taxes and contributing foundation support.

While other communities were cutting music programs, Davis Joint Unified and a great many concerned citizens kept our music, and the musical children of Davis won a Grammy. When other districts were cutting art, physical education, drama, science and social science classes, Davis residents did the patriotic thing and supported our children by continuing additional support in the form of parcel taxes.

Now, in the coming election, we have an opportunity to continue that support with a vote for Measure E. This proposition will allow us to continue with our important work and to secure great futures for the children of this community. And in the sad case where both Propositions 30 and 38 go down to defeat, it has a safety clause to backfill some of the lost state support.

California is 47th in per-pupil funding and it is a disgrace from where I sit. I look at my parents’ generation coming out of a Great Depression and a Great War, and I marvel at their commitment to our generation. Where is the courage, vision and heart that built California?

To those thinking my children are grown or I have no children, think of Measure E as homeowner’s insurance. Ask any Realtor in this town, and they will assure you that home values stayed higher in Davis because of the quality of our schools. And if you are a senior citizen, you can be exempt from paying the parcel tax.

As the former superintendent of public instruction for the state of California, I am certain that if our nation and its values are to prevail, we must do what both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson advocated – we must invest in education. Neil Postman observed, “Children are a message we send to a time we will never see.” Neighbors, what message will we send? Please vote yes on Measure E.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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