More than 15 years ago we moved to our office on Las Plumas Avenue. Since then we haven’t stopped fighting for justice and building youth power in Eastside San Jose. Luckily over the years our work, staff and base has grown leading us to search for a new home. We didn’t have to look far to find our new office, literally we moved next door, 5 parking spots down. As we start to unpack and settle in, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the victories we’ve accomplished in San Jose.
- 2003 Bilingual Certification
- In 2002, CFJ San Jose members in collaboration with California Tomorrow, asked the East Side Union High School District to develop a Bilingual Certification Program which was formally adopted by the Board Members on April 17, 2003. Bilingual Certification is a program that CFJ leaders advocated for since it celebrates students’ language and culture, allowing them to be officially recognized at graduation.
- 2006 Williams Implementation Campaign
- CFJ held press conferences and rallies that generated excitement and highlighted the Williams Settlement — a statewide class action lawsuit about California’s duty to provide every public school student with instructional materials, safe and decent school facilities, and qualified teachers. This was a huge victory and CFJ worked to encourage school districts to begin implementing key provisions as soon as possible. CFJ helped file complaints in 9 schools across 5 regions, and made over 75 presentations to classrooms, allies, and other groups educating them on the Williams settlement, what it provides, and how it can lead to quick changes at schools. ESUHSD agreed to fully implement and disseminate information to parents and students about their rights under the settlement.
- 2010 A-G Graduate with Me!
- After a 4 year campaign, CFJ San Jose and allies succeeded in getting the East Side Union High School District to make A-G university entrance courses the default curriculum. This change helped ensure all students entering the district are given a chance to take high-quality courses and have a chance to work towards four-year university eligibility.
- 2014 Participatory Budgeting – Student Voice
- CFJ proposed that Eastside Union High School District pilot community participatory budgeting at W.C Overfelt High School, making it the first high school in California with the largest budget for high school participatory budgeting in the country at the time. This campaign really showed the power our students have to be decision makers about their own education.
- 2017 Relationship Centered Schools in the Eastside
- In January 2017 San Jose youth also led a major win for Relationship Centered Schools when the East Side Union High School District became the first district in the state to pass a resolution to adopt CFJ’s recommendations to create district-wide policies that value student voice, invest in staff, and create space for relationship building. ESUHSD established early adopters of Relationship Centered Schools on three campuses with plans to expand in future school years.
This five victories weren’t the only highlights our San Jose office saw. Over the last two decades we’ve had hundreds of students grow their leadership skills, organized dozens of campaigns for our community and helped reach thousands of families on the Eastside. So 2020 better watch out because CFJ is ready to add more victories and memories this year. Our new office at 1961 Las Plumas Avenue is ready for more years of developing leaders to join the fight for racial justice in our schools and communities!
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