I’m a proud first generation Mexican American whose parents came to this country seeking a better life. Their story of bravery to come here inspires me to do all I can to honor the sacrifices they made to ensure I’m able to live an extraordinary life. I was the first person in my family to graduate high school, and I want my sons Ricardo and Juan to go even further than I did and become the first in our family to graduate college. The key to ensuring my dream for them is realized is ensuring they attend great public schools that have the resources they need to keep and support great teachers and strong leaders and to ensure the safety of every child.
With news of the mandated budget cuts for all Oklahoma schools, I worry how those cuts will impact the direction of Oklahoma City and ultimately my children. Thankfully, I’ve learned through my involvement as a parent leader for Stand Oklahoma that I have a voice in what happens as a result of these cuts by electing education champions who will make education funding a priority and by empowering other parents to get involved in the voting process.
On Tuesday, February 9th, we have an opportunity to vote for District 3 board seat for Oklahoma City Public Schools. When the Stand parent endorsement committee met with the candidates running for the seat, we were impressed with the commitment both candidates had to listening to parents and helping ensure our voices are heard about the direction of the district.
Too few people actually show up on Election Day to vote, so decisions about the future of the more than 46,000 students in OKCPS are being made by fewer than 1,000 people. And for the Hispanic community, the number of voters is even more shocking—less than 3 percent.
That’s unacceptable. How can we expect elected officials to listen to us, and to the needs of our community and our children, if we don’t show up to vote on Election Day?
That’s why Stand parents decided to launch Escúchanos OKC!, which means “listen to us” in Spanish. Our goal is to lead by example and do everything we can to help increase the number of voters that participate in school board races in our community and across this great city. We’ll do that by volunteering our time going door-to-door to talk to other parents about the importance of voting. We’ll make phone calls, and we’re going to ask parents to sign a voter commitment card that we’ll mail back to them reminding them to go vote on February 9th.
Our work ensures a more engaged and informed community, and standing together we ensure our voices are stronger and our elected officials are listening to us.
I hope to see you at the polls on Election Day. The future of 46,000 students depends on you showing up.