Shame on Board Members Only Interested in Their Own Personal Benefits

What kind of democracy is it if an elected official has a different opinion than the majority of their constituents, and even worse, makes decisions solely for their own personal benefit?

This is something I’m noticing happening in my community of East Side San Jose, located in the county of Santa Clara. Our community has been extremely vulnerable during this pandemic with families losing jobs, not being able to pay rent, and who are struggling to put food on the table. Especially troubling is the fact our Latinx community is contracting the virus at higher rates. 

With or without this pandemic, there are already many barriers my community faces to find high quality public education. This has been a battle for many parent leaders here for decades.  It seems that when we, families of students in the community, look for a rigorous education option for our children, many elected officials seem to be against every effort. Instead of listening to our needs, these public officials are doing everything they can to stop us from attaining high quality education for our children – the same children they promised to protect. 

When an elected official is sworn into office, they swear to protect the constitution of the United States and represent the best interest of their constituents. They are elected to represent the people, not their own interests. They are supposed to protect and serve our communities against harm, whether that harm is domestic or foregin. One thing I have noticed, is they are becoming the harm to their own communities 

On the other hand here in Santa Clara County, there are real leaders who listen to the community and have championed true change. But they seem to be stopped and silenced by their fellow elected officials. We as parents need to get involved and truly find out what is happening with this war against our communities being successful. We cannot continue to accept failing schools that leave students behind. We have championed uniting true advocates for our children’s education, and we thank the true leaders who have supported these efforts. It is possible!

We have enemies out there who continue to make decisions and stop real progress from happening. Santa Clara County Office of Education, shame on you Claudia Rossi. I am disappointed you have demonstrated that you are in it for political reasons, and not to represent your constituents. You have tried to silence someone who has truly championed for communities and for children, and you continue to choose your political career instead of standing by your oath. You are only serving people who support your campaigns with money and you turn away from what truly matters, which is progress in our educational system in Santa Clara.

You have come to our schools, spoken to our families and then used it against us – even though the data show that public charter schools actually make a difference. You have no shame and continue to ignore not only the truth, but also our community voice and experience. 

During a parent meeting with Claudia Rossi last year, I thought she actually cared about my school. She has been leading the effort in minimizing and silencing Joe DiSalvo who has been nothing but an amazing voice for families in Santa Clara county.

Claudia Rossi

Claudia Rossi has taken advantage of this pandemic and instead of supporting our children, she has used it to her personal advantage by leading this horrific effort to silence Joe DiSalvo. Unfortunately, parents are unable to go in person to defend Board Member DiSalvo. It is a disgrace coming from someone who knows and has lived our own experiences. Shame on you Claudia Rossi! 

I want to share publicly a note with Board Member Peter Ortiz; don’t let your colleagues like Claudia Rossi override your intentions of supporting and representing your community. It’s your job to represent your constituents, and not only a specific group just because it benefits you and your political career. I am tired of politicians putting their communities at the end of their priorities. It is time you put us first and not associations who offer you campaign money. If you cannot provide us with quality schools, then please stop being roadblocks for families to attain the education we deserve. 

Families! There are options out there for high-quality education. We all have hopes and dreams that are attainable. It is just a matter of looking for the right options. Don’t let a politician decide the future of your children. Joe DiSalvo is running for re-election despite the efforts that are out there trying to stop him. We must get out and vote if we can. If we are not able, we need to spread the word!

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Heriberto Soto

Heriberto Soto

Heriberto Soto is a parent leader in East Side San Jose who was born in Zitacuaro, Michoacan in 1962 and migrated to San Jose in 1985. He began advocating for high quality education when he noticed his son was struggling in elementary school and was falling far behind. The school was not providing his child with the assistance and help that he needed to succeed. Heriberto has been a parent leader and advocate for KIPP Bay Area Schools (Knowledge is Power Program) and Rocketship Public Schools and actively advocates for high quality choice in East Side San Jose and other underserved communities where schools are not preparing students to learn and be successful citizens of the world. He wants to make sure that his children and other children in his community are not limited to opportunities to compete with the fast paced technological world we live in. He truly believes both KIPP and Rocketship are doing just that, opening up opportunities to children in East Side San Jose that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to attain. “Every child can learn, you just have to give them the opportunity to do so.”

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