Above: Lupe Navarro (back row, third from left) with her fellow statewide student leaders in Californians for Justice.
Last year, Lupe Navarro stood before the East Side Union High School District Board of Trustees and called on decision-makers to continue their commitment to East San Jose’s students and families. Her public comments came at a difficult time for the district, just days after the narrow defeat of Measure G which many had hoped would help relieve the financial stress and deep cuts that now threaten the schools in ESUHSD.
Lupe used her voice to celebrate the way students like her had led the community throughout the Measure G campaign, and reiterate the hope that many still have for a brighter future on the East Side. Lupe has continued her leadership work with Californians for Justice, now serving as a statewide student leader, representing San Jose and the interests of students and communities as we work towards racial justice and equity across all of California’s schools.
“Good evening board members and Superintendent Funk, my name is Lupe Navarro, a leader with Californians for Justice, and an incoming Junior at James Lick High School. It’s hard to be at this hearing today knowing that Measure G has not passed, but regardless of the end result I am truly proud to say at Californians for Justice, we, as students and a community, ran a strong field campaign.
As students, we said we deserve high quality teachers and programs that will prepare all students for college regardless of race or zip code. We spent over 280 hours on phones and were able to talk to 1,568 voters, and hung 569 door hangers. The sign I placed in front my house had me starting conversations with my neighbors and family members. Once, my dad showed me the mailer sent to our house and I remember it saying “Measure G Helps Our Students Reach New Heights” and today I want to make sure that we as students reach new heights. I believe that this year’s [Local Control Accountability Plan] does that, taking a strong step towards all students reaching new heights, free of bias and discrimination.
I wanted to acknowledge Goal 2 Action 8 of the district’s LCAP; Professional Development and Programmatic Supports to address due process, inequity, disparities in disciplinary responses and classroom support.
Working to break down barriers that stop students from reaching their potentail are the steps we need to take.
Our LCAP next year will be impacted by Measure G’s outcome and tough decisions will be made, but our core values, including equity and inclusiveness remain. It will be hard, but I believe that by grounding ourselves in our values we can lead together to ensure safe and successful schools in the East Side.