- I led and managed a reading program for struggling students in 10 MDUSD schools that showed significant, measurable results for 300 students per year.
- Serving as PFC President, I launched innovative technology that streamlined communication and increased parent involvement.
- Working with a coalition of students, parents, and employees, we sent drafts and spoke up at two school district board meetings, resulting in the MDUSD School Board passing a Safe Haven Resolution.
- I initiated Safe Routes to School by writing a change.org petition to gain community awareness and to advocate for pedestrian safety. Construction is now complete on two new flashing pedestrian beacons, 3 new crosswalks, a new bike lane, digital speed signs, and sidewalk bulbouts that show down cars and create safer and shorter crossings for pedestrians.
Now that the June elections are over, we are getting ready for my November run for MDUSD School Board. It is ever more crucial that we get everyone out to vote who believes in quality public schools for all.
Save the Date August 18th Ice Cream Campaign Kickoff!
Join us to launch our Cherise Khaund for School Board campaign with Ice Cream in the Park! Bring your families and friends on August 18th to hear from the candidate. We’ll have ice cream, drinks, stickers & signs, volunteer signups, and ways for you to share your ideas about our schools.Volunteer - Host a “Meet the Candidate” Near You!
In addition to our Campaign Kick-Off Event, we plan to hold several “Meet the Candidate” events throughout MDUSD. To best serve all students, it’s important for me to listen to voices from all corners of our district.
Our campaign committee is working hard and our momentum is strong, but we can’t make it to the finish line alone - and that’s where YOU come in!
Can you host a “Meet the Candidate” event? It’s easy - just check the host box here: http://www.cherisekhaund.com/volunteer Then pick a date and location - your home or a local business (great way to support your neighborhood cafe or bookstore!) Invite your neighbors & friends. We’ll take care of the rest! I will come to speak, listen, answer questions, and bring all the materials.
**Thank you to Torrey and Bijan for hosting our first Meet the Candidate event - planned for August 11th at Arco Gas Station in Bay Point/Pittsburg at the corner of San Marcos & Leland!**
More Early Endorsements:I’m pleased to announce that in addition to our strong grassroots support, our campaign has also secured early endorsements from Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma, as well as from the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council, the Contra Costa AFL-CIO Labor Council, Plumbers and Steamfitters Locals 342 and 159, and Sprinklerfitter Local 483!After touring local apprenticeship programs, I am convinced apprenticeships are a win-win for our community and schools. It means safety on job sites and career pathways for our students. These local jobs with benefits can’t be shipped overseas, and business is booming right now. Here are some photos from my recent visit to the Iron Workers in Benicia, with Ken Miller and apprentice Manny. Manny is a 2nd generation IronWorker apprentice, who said his family was so thankful for the benefits the IronWorkers provided, especially for the healthcare coverage for all his and his siblings' childhood injuries and illness. Thank you Ken for the tour!Family, Community & Foundation
These last few months for me have been busy chaperoning my daughter's 4th grade class to the state capitol, leading our girl scout troop camping and high ropes trip, and planting our home garden, while also making great strides with the MDUSD Education Foundation.
Our Foundation volunteers & donations brought schoolwide chalk art and classroom art pilots to 7 elementary schools already this spring! I encourage all of you to give what you can to the Foundation here: https://www.mdedf.org/donate Together we can ensure quality public education for all. If you donate ANY amount before June 30, you will be listed as a Founding Donor!
We value and care about ALL families, and that is why I will be speaking this Saturday June 30th at the Families Belong Together Rally.
Will you be there?
CHOOSE LOVE. TAKE ACTION.
Gather at 10AM, Rally at 10:30AM @ Todos Santos Plaza, Downtown Concord
¡Todos juntos sí se puede! Together We Can!
Spread the Word
Person to person is the best way to spread the word about the upcoming election and get our neighbors involved. Please forward this message, invite people to "like" our campaign page, and most of all…make sure you are registered to vote.
Wishing you all a good Summer. Thank you for your support!
Our movement is growing and increasingly visible through endorsements, donations, and volunteers.I am particularly honored to announce an endorsement by the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 342. These hardworking men and women train apprentices for high paying, local jobs that can't be shipped overseas. The only requirements for apprentices are to be 18 years of age and to demonstrate math skills at an eighth-grade level. Our schools can and should focus on improving student math scores to ensure more students qualify for this and other career opportunities. We also secured an early endorsement from the Contra Costa AFL-CIO Labor Council. Fair wages and safe conditions are important for workers and their families everywhere, from our schools to refineries.
As the President of MDUSD Education Foundation, I will be keynote speaker at the MDEA Academy Awards on Thursday, May 10th. I hope you can join us there! It’s an uplifting event that brings people together from all around our district to celebrate our superstars – teachers, staff, administration, parent volunteers, and community. Come to dine, toast, meet friends and make new connections. Buy your tickets here. Proceeds benefit the new nonprofit districtwide MDUSD Education Foundation!The focus of my time this spring has been dedicated to our MDUSD Education Foundation. Recently, I presented the results of our Arts Survey to the School Board (published here in English and Spanish), along with a list of free community arts resources for teachers and parent volunteers. The Foundation is funding visiting artists and trial classroom arts lessons this spring before school ends. Our aim is to strategize together and raise enough funds for a full arts pilot this fall. If you are compelled by this opportunity, please visit, like, donate, and follow the Foundation at www.mdedf.org, Facebook and Twitter.
For my husband Sandy and I, giving back to our community is a family value. Here's a glimpse of what our daughters have been up to... Iris and Robyn have been busy since January with Inventors University, teaching girls computer coding on raspberry pi computers every Saturday at Concord Library. Their 2nd class just graduated last week, showing off their final projects at the Sun Terrace Elementary Open House!So how can you help our campaign? Every bit helps. Endorse, donate, volunteer, and share at www.cherisekhaund.com. And let us know if you can host a "meet the candidate" at your local coffeeshop, home, or neighborhood group.
January was a busy month! The most energizing part was the Women's March, where we met amazing community activists and signed up pages of new supporters. Welcome to those of you who joined us! Huge thank you's to Anita and Ward Johnson, Annie Nolen, Jessica Clark, Frith O'Steen, Angie Traxinger, and Janine Payne Schneir for staffing our booth the entire day.We reported on our campaign finances for 2017, and are thrilled to say that so far we have received 141 donations of all sizes, far surpassing anyone reported in the race to date! This is the power of a grassroots campaign. Every dollar really does add up, and enables us to print materials to reach voters, like the bookmarks we distributed at the march. Thank you for fueling this effort!Activity is buzzing at the new districtwide MDUSD Education Foundation. Our Programs Committee already surveyed principals, teachers and parents at all 31 elementary schools, and is moving forward to bring recommended visiting artists to our schools! Even though my role as Foundation President is unpaid, I decided to dedicate my full time to its success because I believe so deeply in our mission to educate all kids. It's incredible how many people have already stepped forward to volunteer, donate, or connect us to community organizations! If we all pitch in just a little, it will truly add up to a lot. Please join us and share - visit, like, follow the Foundation at www.mdedf.org, Facebook and Twitter.Lastly, I toured the apprenticeship program at the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 342. I was so impressed by their quality training, encouraging instructors, and the fact that these are high paying, local jobs that can't be shipped overseas! Only a high school diploma needed. But it was incredible to learn just how few applicants pass the basic math test, which is 8th grade level with adding and subtracting of fractions and decimals, and basic algebra. Each year around 800 people apply, 400 take the test, and only around 200 pass it. Mt Diablo School District clearly needs to focus on improving student performance in math! I love algebra and enjoy teaching it, and wish that more students could find joy in the beauty of math. Let's make it happen! See apprentice photos hereSo how can you help? You can endorse, donate, volunteer, and share at www.cherisekhaund.com. Also help me to hear what you and your neighbors think about our schools! Invite me out to your neighborhood meetings, coffeeshop meet-ups, book clubs, faith-based gatherings. The more I listen to people throughout our district, the better I can represent you. See you soon!
Reflecting back on 2017, my heart is filled with gratitude for you and everyone who advocated for our kids in Mt. Diablo schools. Together we passed a strong Safe Haven resolution, so that students can concentrate on their studies instead of their fears. We held donation drives for HOPE to help homeless students, and for the food bank to feed local families and victims of the Solano fires. We painted, pruned and planted the grounds of many schools on Community Service Day. And we coordinated with city and school leaders to build safer routes to school, with bike lanes, speed signs and crosswalks.
For my family, serving our community is a core value and responsibility. Our daughters Iris and Robyn this year launched Inventors University to teach girls computer coding every Saturday for 10 weeks at the Concord Library. In May, eight girls demonstrated their final projects at the Sun Terrace Elementary Open House, and each program graduate went home with a raspberry pi computer to continue on her own. Twenty two more students attended December workshops. (Iris and Robyn's vision became a reality thanks to my husband Sandy mentoring their entrepreneurial process, to teacher Karly Moura and principal Kris Martin Meyer at Sun Terrace, and Kimberli Buckley at Concord Library. Yet again, success takes a village!)
And I'm especially excited to announce that this month marked the launch of the brand new district-wide MDUSD Education Foundation, to ensure a quality education for every child regardless of zip code. I am honored to have been elected President of the Board, and look forward to engaging business, community, parents, teachers and staff towards that bold goal.
As Delaine Eastin said, a single pencil alone is easily broken, but a handful of pencils is not. We now have over 440 people who joined the Cherise for MDUSD School Board network, and we received 140 campaign donations large and small in 2017. Person by person, dollar by dollar, we are building a movement that gets stronger every day. Please continue to share our website and Facebook page to grow our team.
I look forward to reconnecting with each of you in 2018, and walking the tread off my shoes to hear from our neighbors and communities throughout Mt Diablo School District. But for now, may your holidays be filled with rest, rejuvenation, food, family, and community.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to pause and reflect on the year gone by. A year ago, I had just lost a tight election, while we were all denied the first female U.S. President. In the year since, I’ve been inspired by an amazing set of women and men who have filled my life with hope, purpose, and the desire to not only seek change, but demand justice. I truly have so much to be grateful for.
I’m thankful for my Emerge sisters, who continually remind me that the future is indeed female.
I’m thankful for a school district that understands the importance of establishing a Safe Haven to protect innocent students caught up in the hysteria of anti-immigration sentiment.
I’m thankful for those who fought to keep our diverse school district together, and I am hopeful that our entire Mt. Diablo community can now move forward with love and commitment to ALL students as "our students".
I’m thankful for a husband and family who remind me daily what I am fighting for, and who patiently accept the sacrifices required to make it happen.
I’m thankful for the countless mentors, allies, and supporters who encourage me to keep pursuing public office. It is because of all of YOU that I persist.
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