Actor Danny Glover showered praise and support for Hayward school board candidate Annette Walker last week at a fundraiser for candidates endorsed by the Hayward Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m supporting Annette Walker for Hayward school board because she is experienced, she has imagination, she has passion and she is dedicated to children,” Glover told The Pioneer.
President and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce, Kim Huggett, said the fundraiser was hosted by Good Government Now, the chamber’s political action committee in order to raise money for candidates who are concerned with economic development in Hayward.
Huggett said the chamber was impressed by Walker’s Doctorate in educational leadership, her 20 plus years living in the district and her bilingual education.
“Those are all the qualities we look for in a candidate – preparation, skill, desire and electability,” said Huggett.
Glover, speaking to the small crowd at AdMail Express Incorporated in Hayward, praised the candidates in attendance and spoke about the importance of good governance.
“One thing that distinguishes them is the fact that they’re here and running because they believe in the idea of good governance,” said Glover. “They believe in the idea that they can play an essential role in redefining and re-imagining what we mean by governance.”
Glover’s speech focused on the importance of keeping art in schools. Glover explained how drama programs in Ethiopia have helped educate the people about the dangers of land mines.
“They used art as a way of talking about their own lives,” said Glover. “If we use art as a way of talking about our own lives and we allow kids to do that, we are opening up another world for them. We’re opening up their imaginations in a different way.”
Glover then talked about Walker and how her passion for education and children makes her a good candidate for the school board.
“What she is going to bring here is a lot of energy and passion and a belief that we can make a difference and change children’s lives by changing the educational system, by committing ourselves to children and their lives in the future.”
After Glover’s speech, Walker addressed the audience about the importance of this election for Hayward’s schools. Three seats on the board are up for grabs this election, bringing the possibility of a three person majority to the five member board, which has been characterized by bickering between board members.
“I will bring energy, that I will do” said Walker. “But we know that our school board needs experienced leadership and I can provide it.”
Also in attendance were the other local candidates who gained support from the chamber of commerce.
Richard Valle, who was appointed to District 2 of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors this summer following the scandal ridden resignation of Nadia Lockyer, told the crowd the key issue for Hayward is saving Saint Rose Hospital and the Silva Pediatric Medical and Dental Clinic from shutting down due to lack of funds.
“Dialogue is going on right now with the teamster’s union, the nurses, doctors, and all of the people who support Saint Rose,” said Valle. “At some point we’re gonna come to you, and ask you to support this clinic towards sustainability because it is such an important part of our community.”
Sara Lamnin, who is also running for Hayward school board, said Hayward schools need “community collaboration, high accountability and high achievement.”
“All of which are possible. All of the school districts in the area are doing better than we are,” said Lamnin, “and it’s through good policy making, good accountability, good focus on priorities that we can get there. We can have the school district of choice for our community, for the Bay Area and beyond.”
The 22-year-old candidate, Peter Bufete, said his experience as a Hayward student means he can relate and empathize with troubles many face.
“To this day I know a lot of people in the district and I look forward to working with them to continue to improve our performance,” said Bufete.
Bufete also talked about his “four point platform” which would improve academic performance, strengthen budget priorities, create safer learning environment and promote good health and nutrition.
“I think those are all important things that produce productive citizens; critical thinkers that will enter into the business community and bring people into the local government and possibly have aspirations of contributing.”
Former Hayward councilmember Bill Quirk, who is running against Dr. Jennifer Ong for California’s 20th Assembly District, called current Hayward school board member Luis Reynoso “a disaster” for the district.
“He is somebody who causes dissent,” said Quirk. “One person can ruin a board; a bad board can ruin a school district. That is happening right now. I can’t think of any more reason to support these people up here running than to get rid of Luis Reynoso.”
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 2:04 pm.