Last week, we kicked off our Future Leaders of Arizona Spotlight series, where we introduced you to members of our Future Leaders of Arizona (FLOA) cohorts.
If you missed our last email, FLOA is a program we created last year to train, support, and elevate volunteers, Precinct Committee Members, and activists ready to take the next step in leadership and run for their local school or college board.
This week, we introduce you to Patti Serrano, who's running for a position on the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) Governing Board.
CUSD serves most of the city of Chandler, plus portions of Gilbert and Queen Creek. According to its Wikipedia page, this district serves over 45,000 students, making it the third-largest school district in Arizona.
We connected with Patti to talk to her about her decision to run for a position on her local school board and why she decided to join the FLOA program.
Why did you decide to run for your local school board?
I decided to run for school board due to the rise in nefarious attacks on public education we have seen in the past few years. There exists a concerted effort to destroy public education that 95% of Arizonans, like me, choose. As a public school Mom and Alum from our district, it's both frustrating and disappointing, but I know we have tools to do all we can to protect our public schools and do better. One of these tools is electing pro-public education candidates up and down our ballots. I am that candidate for CUSD. I also come with meaningful representation as over half our student population identifies as a minority; almost 30% identify as Latin@. As a first generation, daughter of immigrants, electing a "Serrano" to our board would mean progress. As a Mom, I 'get it' and am ready to bring representation to CUSD that prioritizes the best education we can offer at our schools; for our children, our educators, our staff and community at large.
How has the Future Leaders of Arizona (FLOA) program supported you during your campaign for school board?
The Future Leaders of Arizona program gave me a sense of confidence and distinct, ongoing support and resources to move my campaign forward towards winning in November.
This program takes you from A to Z introducing and explaining essential campaign topics one must know and understand to win. Beyond the training itself, the program provides consistent support and resources first-time candidates absolutely need. The program and its creators have our backs in a remarkable way.
What have you been able to accomplish after finishing the FLOA program?
We reached our March Fundraising Goal and continue to work on fundraising to meet monthly goals in order to purchase what we need to win. We have been busy collecting Petition Signatures through our network of Volunteers, tabling and circulating petitions at local public events, and have joined LD and Save Our School Canvasses to collect signatures. We have the endorsement of pro-education Save Our Schools and have submitted other endorsement applications. We have our Facebook Page up and active while building our campaign website out. We had our 'Thank You' postcards designed by a district third grader. And Patti started presenting to local district LDs and groups about her campaign.
We're incredibly proud of Patti. As an organizer and community leader, we're confident she's the right person for a CUSD governing board position.
We must proactively recruit and uplift candidates who will fight for our kids. We can't allow extremists to take these positions.
Ne'Lexia Galloway, MCDP Executive Director