April 2018 News

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.
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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.orgFacebook 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.


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January 2018 News

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.orgFacebook 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 here

So 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!
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In gratitude to YOU

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.

Much gratitude,

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Thank YOU

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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