San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) Board President, Abigail Medina, is running for Senate District (SD) 23 to fill the seat to be vacated by termed-out Senator Mike Morrell. This is important not only because we need more women to represent us in office, but because we need more women who are passionate about education and kids to run for office!
Board President Abigail Medina was elected to the SBCUSD School Board in 2013. Since that time, she has put forth various resolutions and championed several issues. I discussed some of the issues with her recently as she reminded me what she has done during her tenure as a board member. The district made free meals available to all students enrolled at SB City Schools. Ms. Medina was instrumental in supporting this because she understood that in her community, there were so many food insecure children who would often arrive to school hungry, and it was impacting their academic performance. She also was aware that the meal that the school provided to some students was often the only meal some had access to. As a result, today, all students receive breakfast and lunch without fear of stigma or ridicule.
“The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a provision from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that allows schools with a high percentage of students that receive state assistance to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.
Starting in the 2019 – 2020 school year, all students of the San Bernardino City Unified School District will be participating in this provision. “
Additionally, at a time when districts, parents, and students were struggling with the unknown impact/effect of the Donald Trump administration’s immigration policies, people were fearful about what if any protection they had when taking their kids to school. Ms. Medina championed a resolution to provide “safe zones” to the students of SBCUSD. Shortly after, the state also provided a position from the California Department of Education to pronounce California schools as “safe havens,” something that puts the minds of students and parents at ease during a very trying time in our country’s history.
You may be familiar with the name Abigail Medina because she also ran for Assembly in District 40 in 2016, which is currently represented by Assemblyman James Ramos. In 2016, she was the top vote getter in the primary but lost in the general election by 1,948 votes. All things considered, that being a “red” district, she did extremely well. I personally think that this gives her an edge over the other declared candidates, including another Democrat and woman, Kris Goodfellow, a wealthy business woman from Redlands.
Recently, Ms. Medina has been refocusing her attention and time to promote and advocate in a different capacity that she believes needs more awareness. Ms. Medina accepted a position as Executive Director of Inland Region Equality Network, which has kept her quite busy. Her time has also been spent quietly dealing with some very personal issues, while wholeheartedly staying on top of school district issues and embracing her role as ED of a Nonprofit Organization.
Throughout the campaign you will no doubt hear about the changes and struggles she was faced with when she allowed herself to take stock of who she was and how she needed to face and accept the reality of her true and authentic self and then still manage to come out on the other side of that intact and ready to move on. I give her credit for being courageous and ultimately true to herself and others, even if it was not the easiest thing to do. Who wouldn’t want this kind of a champion in Sacramento fighting for us and our community?
It is critical for those of us who are concerned about the state of education to learn about the candidates that will be making decisions about our kids, locally, at the state level, and nationally.
From her bio:
“Medina, a Latina daughter of working-class, immigrant parents, is a working mother of five, according to her website.
She has served on boards for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Inland Empire United, the State Dental Board of California and regional nonprofits.”
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