GO Public Schools Advocates
West Contra Costa

2020 Candidate Endorsements

The year 2020 marks the first election cycle where school board candidates in West Contra Costa will be elected by wards, and not at-large. Because of this change, all five school board seats are open, and you will only be able to vote for one candidate in your assigned trustee area.

Candidates

GO Public Schools Advocates West Contra Costa has endorsed the following candidates for the 2020 West Contra Costa Unified School District’s School Board race:

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Estela DePaz

"I can help craft policy that provides educational services that support and value all the students and families in our community.”

I believe it’s essential that we all understand that our children are unique individuals who perceive life and learning in unique ways. Being a Special Education parent taught me that mental processing can be as unique as our fingerprints. So, it’s critical that WCCUSD schools provide a rich and engaging curriculum through an excellent public education system for all of our children. 

I stand for ensuring fiscal accountability, supporting students’ social emotional learning and mental health, partnering with teachers, and creating community spaces for dialogue and listening. 

Audra "Golddie" Williams

“I am not afraid to use my voice for our children."

I have spent the last 14 years serving our children, teachers, and families in various volunteer capacities, in the district and community as AASAT Co-Chair, SSC, PTA, Children’s Pastor, High School Cheerleading Coach, and “Got Goals” youth mentor.

Our children deserve someone who is on their side and willing to fight for them! They need Advocates who: truly see them, know their lived experience, who will make thoughtful decisions based on feedback from the community, who desire the best for our children rather than a political career, who have a proven track record of positive influence, personal development, and personal sacrifice for the lives of children.

I am that advocate.

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Tom Panas

“I believe an excellent public education is the key to unlocking our children's future and that a thriving school system is essential for a thriving community.”

I have lived in this District for 45 years. I have two grown sons who attended District schools K through 12. I believe in the potential of West County and I’ve fought hard to improve our community. Because of my long record of service, my City Council put me on the Wall of Fame in 2014. I want to continue to apply my passion for the community to our District. I know that all our students can succeed.

I believe students of every background deserve an excellent education. It is essential that the School Board makes sure every dollar benefits students, teachers and schools. That means having academic programs that meet the individual needs of our students and families. 

Fatima Alleyne

“This moment, it is more important than ever to have a trustee who puts students' welfare and education first.”

In 2018, I was honored to become the first Black President of the Contra Costa County Board of Education. As the only Trustee who is Black and a parent with school-aged children, my unique perspective has informed the board’s decision-making. The events of 2020 have illustrated why diversity in representation matters.

As an educator with an engineering Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, I use data and financial acumen to allocate resources for equitable and effective programs. With a commitment to balanced budgeting and accountability, I have designed, implemented, and expanded STEM, college and career programs, and offered equity and special education trainings to educators.

My focus is developing systems that allow our children to reach their full academic and social-emotional potential. We must equip our youth with skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the future workforce.

Fatima Alleyne, Director of Community Engagement & Inclusive Practices in UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, poses for a portrait in Berkeley, Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

GO’s Endorsement Process

Step 1

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES

We send a questionnaire to each candidate that focuses on their policy positions and leadership experience. Once we collect completed versions from the candidates, the questionnaires are shared with our community, who then have a chance to provide feedback and let us know what they think.

Step 2

CANDIDATE INTERVIEWS

We send invites to our community to attend a live interview day, where candidates are asked a series of questions in front of our community members. Based on the candidates’ interviews, we collect feedback from our constituents in the room.

Step 3

LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

Based on the candidate questionnaires, candidate interviews, and feedback from our community, our Leadership Council votes on endorsements.

GO Public Schools West Contra Costa Advocates’ community plays an active role in local elections — endorsing candidates for West Contra Costa Unified School District School Board, engaging on education-related ballot measures, and ensuring voters have information about education issues.

We are proud of how our candidate interview and endorsement process benefits our community:

  • Families, educators, and other community members gain important information and consider each candidate’s and/or measure’s qualifications.
  • The process creates dialogue that allows community members to clarify values and priorities for all students within our public education system.
  • We provide information for the general voting public as citizens consider how to vote.

Paid for by West Contra Costa Kids Can, sponsored by GO Public Schools Advocates.
Committee major funding from: Ronald Nahas, Stephen Chamberlin.

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