My campaign, Families for Madhavi Sunder for School Board is pleased to announce that we have surpassed $16,000 in fundraising in the first quarter. I want to sincerely thank every person who has worked so hard to help us spread the word about the challenges and successes of our schools and to bring in new energy to contribute to keeping our schools strong. “Strong Schools, Strong Davis” means we must all work together to ensure great opportunities for all our kids. We are proud of the teachers, parents, citizens and even children on our team who are volunteering to make a difference for our community.
This demonstrates keen support for mycampaign. I am seeking a seat on the five-person Davis School Board in the November election.
I am a professor of law at UC Davis for 15 years and a long time volunteer in the Davis schools, and have spent the last few months touring the 20 schools in the district. Already, through my campaign, I have met with principals, teachers, and students at many district schools, learning about their successes and challenges. In addition, I am the mom of two elementary-age children, a boy and a girl.
I am very grateful to have drawn widespread support for my campaign. My very first endorsement and contribution came from the Honorable Cruz Reynoso, former Justice of the California Supreme Court and winner of the Presidential Medal for Freedom. Carolyn de la Peña, UC Davis Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, observes, “Madhavi raises the level of thinking every time she joins a discussion. She is a dynamic leader. This, combined with her passion for public education and its teachers and her on-the-ground-experience working for change in our district, makes her my choice for Davis School Board.”
A first-time candidate for public office, I have also won the endorsement of many of Davis’ leading public figures, including Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, Supervisor Jim Provenza, Mayor Dan Wolk, Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson, and County Clerk-Recorder Freddie Oakley.
A longtime educator, I have also drawn support as well from leaders at UC Davis, including the Dean of Engineering Enrique Lavernia, Law School Dean Kevin Johnson, Social Sciences Dean Ron Mangun, and UC Davis Teacher of the Year 2014 Suad Joseph.
In June I received the endorsement of the Davis Teachers Association. Recently, I have met with teachers through her “Tuesdays with Teachers” coffees. In May, the current School Board selected me as one of the top three candidates for the appointment to fill a vacancy on the Board. I have also been endorsed by Former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.
The pillars of the campaign are responsibility, resources, and reasonableness. Strong schools are essential to a strong Davis. By focusing on fiscal responsibility (including wise use of parcel tax dollars) and leveraging the resources of a university community in Northern California, we can strengthen Davis schools even in a time of financial constraints.
We should concentrate resources in the classroom, not on consultants and legal counselors.
Madhavi Sunder will have a weekly column on the Vanguard that discusses her campaign as well as issues in education.