Fernandes Announces Run for Two Year DJUSD Seat

Fernandes-Alan-HS
School Board Member Alan Fernandes

On Friday, School Board Trustee Alan Fernandes announced his decision to run for the remaining two years of the seat he was appointed to earlier this year.

“I am running for the trustee position to continue the work of rebuilding the district for a sustainable future that I have undertaken over the past few months,” said Mr. Fernandes. “Our district is at a cross roads with the implementation of the Common Core, the enactment of the Local Control Funding Formula and the recent adoption of the strategic plan.”

He added, “I believe it is important for there to be representation on the school board from someone who was a part of the important work of the strategic planning committee. This will ensure that the recently approved mission statement and five-year strategic plan is implemented as intended by the broad cross section of our school community that created it.”

On Monday, May 5, 2014 the Davis School Board unanimously voted to appoint Mr. Fernandes to fill the vacant trustee position. According to state law and board policy, the appointed person must stand for election at the next regularly scheduled election to complete the remainder of the term.

“I am optimistic about the future of our district and would be honored to continue serving the people of this community and rebuilding our schools for the future,” said Mr. Fernandes.

Alan is a husband and proud father of two young boys. Highlights of his volunteer service in Davis schools include: Member of the DJUSD Strategic Planning Committee; Parcel Tax Citizen’s Oversight Committee; Birch Lane Elementary School Site Council; Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Special Education; and classroom volunteer. In addition to his service in the educational arena, Alan has volunteered in a wide array of community efforts, including: Board Member of Cities, Counties, Schools, a statewide organization focused on finding collaborative projects among local governments; Board Member of Yolo County Suicide Prevention; Davis Little League Coach; and many other activities.

Alan has a broad range of professional work experience, having worked in both the private and public sector. He has published on topics such as effective government advocacy, including a Law Review Article on the topic of Ethics in Government, and is occasionally requested to speak publicly on these topics. In addition, Alan has served as a pro-bono attorney on multiple occasions, particularly in capacities representing parents or organizations interacting with public schools.

A kickoff will be held on August 24 from 5-7 pm at 732 B Street to formally begin Alan’s campaign and celebrate the start of the new school year. The public is welcome to attend. Please visit Alan’s Facebook page for more information.

Alan Fernandes entered the appointment process to fill the vacancy left on the school board when Nancy Peterson, who beat out Mr. Fernandes for the school board seat in November 2012, abruptly resigned in March following a prolonged scandal involving the volleyball program.

He was selected as one of the three finalists for the position in early May.

Alan Fernandes is Sworn-in by Board President Gina Daleiden
Alan Fernandes is Sworn-in by Board President Gina Daleiden

At the time, he told the Board: “Good evening members of the board and the community, my name is Alan Fernandes and I’m an applicant for the vacant position. I’m an applicant for many reasons. First and foremost because I’ve been encouraged to apply by the many supporters as all of you know I recently ran for election and I was heartened and humbled to have the support of really the backbone of our community and our schools and the teachers and the school employees.

“My base of support continues and it continues to grow and I’m here at their urging, but more than that I’m here because the issues that I ran on just 18 months ago remain and that is the importance of implementing a strategic plan and new state standards. I believe I have a diversity of perspective and experience that would contribute greatly to your governance team.

“When I speak of diversity of perspective I mean many things, but principally I mean I’m a parent of young children. I think that’s instructive as a board member because I’m going to make decisions as a board member that not only are good for kids today, but are good for graduates tomorrow.

“But I also know that your own personal experiences shouldn’t dictate your positions on the board and that as a board member you’re a trustee which is a fiduciary and that you always have to look for all students, and make decisions in the interest of all students of our district. I’m committed that cause.

“But I also bring another perspective and that is candidly a fresh perspective, it’s a perspective I gained running an election as many of you know. You know when you run election it forces you to reach outside your own community and talk to different parts of our community and candidly I have been informed and it’s shaped my perspective and improved my sense of our schools. But I also bring a diverse set of experiences I think is productive and useful and relevant to serving on the board.

“I’m an attorney, I practice Public Law. I’ve a great familiarity with the public records act, the Brown act, the voting rights act – these are bodies of law that interact with school districts. In addition to my professional experience however I have extensive tree volunteers dating back from the days when I was a student on the UC Davis campus.

“I’ve literally contributed to many parts of our community and volunteers. And whether it be site council, a member the strategic planning committee, Little League coach, serving on city and county commissions – it’s informed me of a sense of our community values but more than that I have a deep understanding of how our community fits together and I think that’s an important characteristic of a school board member.

“In my professional life I’m a manager. I’m a manager in the public-sector and I understand the relationship between administration and staff. Indeed I’m responsible for state government relations for the largest local government in the country. I have a seat at very important tables and you can’t do my job without having a detailed understanding of minutia, understanding the larger context of how it affects organization.

“I can stand up, take a stand, and work collaboratively to get to a bottom line. I think I’d be an excellent member of your governing board. I’d be honored to serve with you.”

While that process was quick, he and fellow finalists Barbara Archer and Madhavi Sunder all responded to questions from the Vanguard. Ms. Archer and Ms. Sunder are both announced and filed candidates for three four year seats on the school board, along with Bob Poppenga.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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11 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    Isn’t this the same guy who was backing the firefighters when the city was trying to get some things enacted to reel in costs? I’ll never vote for him because of that.

        1. Don Shor

          I am very concerned about his union affiliations, particularly with the firefighters’ union, and also assume that he considers the school board seat a stepping stone to higher office.

          1. Matt Williams

            I agree that concern is warranted Don, but I am not going to try and convict Alan without giving him his day in court.

            Regarding higher office, my sense from my discussions with Alan are that any higher office he might seek will not be in Davis. Like Jim Provenza he might be attracted to a Supervisors role in Woodland, but it also could be something in Sacramento. His reasons for that (expressed to me directly) are that the issues that City Council members wrestle with don’t interest him anywhere near as much as issues that affect children.

            I could be wrong in all the above assessments, but they are based on first hand interactions with Alan.

          2. Don Shor

            I’m not ‘convicting’ anybody. What a strange thing to say. Davis voters have an excellent field of highly qualified candidates for school board, many coming from backgrounds and professions that are completely independent of public-sector unions. Alan chose to take a public stand in favor of a politically-active public sector union — the firefighters — at a time when their harmful political activities in the area have been well documented.

            I don’t know what motivated him to do that. It should just give the voters pause as they select trustees who will oversee negotiations with a public-sector union in setting contracts.

            He has a lot of skill sets and clearly gives a lot of volunteer time to the community. Fortunately, we don’t have a shortage of possible trustees. So I think the district would benefit most from Alan’s continued activities as a volunteer parent, and would to well to select a school board that is truly independent.

          3. Matt Williams

            Your words were “… and also assume that he considers …”

            Assume = Convict in my lexicon.

        2. Matt Williams

          Have you listened to what Alan said when he expressed his support for the Firefighters? My sense from what I heard was that he was supporting the public safety risk mitigation that inherently comes from the actions of firefighters. I didn’t sense that he was supporting the unionized nature of the firefighters’ bargaining unit, but rather his perception of the value of their work,

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