To all my passionate supporters: I am grateful to the people in our community who were open to the dialogue created by this election process and I greatly appreciated your support and encouragement over the past few months. Many people not only became interested in this election, but were motivated and compelled to take action by writing letters to the editor, emailing friends, placing signs in yards and business’s windows, hosting meet and greets, attending forums, reading newspapers, asking thoughtful questions and publicly sharing opinions. Those of you who shared your voices, homes and hearts are my new local heroes.
As a candidate I enjoyed being an active advocate for our community and will continue to do so in the future. My greatest hope was that Laguna was ready for the progressive changes that are happening in educational reform across the country, including adopting STEM K-12, employing green initiatives, raising expectations in our leadership to implement the best academic, social and emotional curriculum, enhancing teacher effectiveness and improving teacher hiring practices. This election brought to light many of those issues and increased awareness about education in our community.
The fact that I received 3,700 votes or 22 percent when I spent less than $1,000 during my campaign and started campaigning in August is a testament to you and the power of grassroots. Being fiscally responsible and “green” by not printing 10,000 flyers or sending out 20,000 mailers may have made the critical difference in hindsight. However it is the reason I met with so many wonderful people. I believe in face-to-face communication and less money in politics.
To better the chances of future qualified candidates interested in running, we may need to address a few issues. One is the relationship the school board has to the unions. Many districts have adopted a policy that precludes school board members from later negotiating contracts with the teachers union after accepting endorsements and paid advertisements during elections. This type of reform makes sense in our community as well.
I invite our community to continue to take part in ensuring every child has the opportunity to have a positive educational experience nurtured by respectful, engaging, meaningful and dynamic learning. Every child has the capacity to be a lifelong learner, critical thinker, effective problem solver, empathetic human being and future positive leader. Together we can still take “excellence to the next level!”
Tammy Keces, Laguna Beach