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Education, Resources, and Opportunities for Youth


Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. MLK


I am very strong in my conviction that Education is the cornerstone of creating a fair, just, and opportunity filled community. Not just Education in the traditional sense we view it today. It will require a paradigm shift for us to implement programs that benefit all. San Jose must set the standard, nationally and globally. All students must have access to a free, world-class PUBLIC EDUCATION. This includes not only a balanced curriculum of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), music, arts, and  physical education, which are essential to developing a well-rounded, critical thinking young adult; but we must expand our definition of “Education” to include preparation for training in a career outside the strongly emphasized STEM. Not everyone will seek a career in High-Tech, and we need locally prepared, highly qualified people to fill the needs of our Trades, Culinary, Mechanical, and every other industry we have here in San Jose. We cannot leave these children behind.


As a society, we spend over $112,000 per year for each youth who is incarcerated. Youth incarceration turns into a revolving door for many of these disenfranchised children. It is time we become TRULY fiscally responsible, providing programs for our kids. It is time to commit, providing resources and opportunities for ALL our children. I have worked with many “At Risk”, or the term I have adopted, “At Promise” communities. ALL children need at least 1 Authentic, Available, Responsible Adult in their lives… the more the better. The empirical evidence is overwhelming.


I have committed the last several years to Substitute Teaching at the High School level in our City. I have taken this opportunity to speak WITH the Students, hearing concerns of each community. One of the questions I ask of these students is, “What is your first thought, your first emotion when you see a Cop?” Far and above every other answer is “Fear”.   This is not right; yes, one should be afraid of the Police… if he or she is a Criminal. We must create an environment where Police Officers are introduced to children, and develop a relationship with Officers from a different perspective. Police Officers can be that Authentic, Available, Responsible Adult in a child’s life. We must return to funding a Police Activities League in each community, providing a fraction of the money spent on incarceration will yield a harvest of young adults who are responsible, contributing members to the City of San Jose. We must also return to funding a Parks and Recreation Department that works in collaboration with these Police Officers, providing resources and opportunities after school, as it was when I was a child attending Schallenberger Elementary. I still remember our Parks and Recreation Leader at Schallenberger, “Marv”.  After school children would fill the playground, involved in organized activities.


We must improve our Parks and Playgrounds, providing necessary resources, including not only outdoor resources, but resources for activities required for ALL of the Arts, including Crafts, Performing, Music, and Fine Arts, as well as all other interests of our children. We must consider collaboration with our institutions of higher Education to provide homework and educational after-school assistance, especially to fill the gap of our subjects in school incapable of attracting qualified Teachers, such as Math. We must balance the playing field for children from disenfranchised communities, providing access to resources many other children have at home, providing access to tools commonly used by so many children at home, such as computers and internet access to complete classroom assignments.


We must provide alternatives to Gang Involvement! There is a very strong link between Education and Public Safety.