Raise Your Voice!
The Candidates Gallery
Here’s a rundown of the candidates we will support in the 2018 election cycle. We value candidates who have demonstrated a long term commitment to making Vallejo better for all residents, including those whose needs have been largely ignored in the past by the special interest players. We want open transparent government that responds to the needs of all our citizens. Those of you who care enough to have read this far can play a critical role in helping our neighbors who may be busy or distracted to understand the importance of voting for our local candidates.
My husband Jeff and I moved to Vallejo in 2000 and we fell instantly in love with the charming neighborhoods, the warm and friendly people and its beautiful location on the Bay. 18 years later, we have made many great friends and call Vallejo our permanent home. As a City Councilmember, I have worked hard to provide strong leadership, and protected the wonderful city we all proudly call home.
Over the past five years, I have been working to bring 21st Century businesses to Vallejo; businesses which are compatible with our
existing strengths in light industry and manufacturing, tourism, health services, and higher education. During my tenure on the Vallejo City Council, I have focused my efforts to create policy in areas which have strengthened our city and which will help bring success in the short and long term. These areas include:
building a healthy and vibrant local economy;
increasing city services;
ensuring government transparency and accountability;
supporting the arts community and tourism industry;
collaborating with health and education institutions; and
Lifting up what works – building a strong community.
I will continue to use my financial management skills and extensive knowledge of local issues to make sure our limited tax dollars are invested wisely – ensuring tax monies are used efficiently and applied where most needed. The City must provide the services our residents and businesses deserve while remaining financially stable.
Public safety is our most serious issue - Public safety is critical for our citizen’s health and well-being. Because it’s the largest portion of our City’s budget, it’s vital that we make smart and responsible spending decisions. Utilizing my experience from managing the finances of multi-million-dollar organizations, I will continue to ensure that we fund police and fire safety and stretch our public dollars to deliver the city services we deserve.
My parents raised me to believe in giving back to my community. Building community and social involvement is something I learned young. Growing up in Vallejo I understood some of the pressures and issues facing youth today and wanted to help prevent some of the mistakes I made from being made again. A few years ago I started volunteering in Vallejo schools and mentoring youth. After the recent presidential election, I decided that being involved in the community and taking small steps was not enough.
The city has taken the first step to taking a proactive approach [to economic development] by completing a city plan. Utilizing the city plan provides guidelines for economic development as well as land use. In terms of the health and safety of the residents and the surrounding environment, I take the health and safety of the city of Vallejo seriously and believe that every development should be scrutinized as to its full impact before approval. I have said that I wanted Vallejo to be the Silicon Valley of the north bay not the industrial basin. We have to streamline the permitting process for small businesses. It will certainly be a priority of mine and I am sure of the rest of the council to remove obstacles from new businesses including small businesses to make our city more growth responsive.
I’ve been talking to seniors for months. It matters to me. Their needs are not being met and a general sense of neglect is pervasive. We must hold unscrupulous landlords accountable & negligent city workers who turn a blind eye to obvious code violations at the expense of our elders. Once elected I plan on championing senior issues and specifically senior housing issues from Day 1.
Affordable housing has to be a priority on the council. We need to establish policy that protects the rights of tenants as well as landlords and provides a method of resolution, perhaps in an ombudsman. Consideration must be given not only to single family development but into multi-family housing. Seniors and low-income families are especially hard hit by our housing crisis and policy needs to be developed to provide solutions.
Voices of Vallejo Urge Vallejo Residents to Register and Vote For These Leaders
For Vallejo City Council:
Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education
I also desire to cultivate a sense of community-based education for the betterment of all students in Vallejo. I am concerned about low student achievement and the educational experiences of students. I believe that this is a result of inconsistent quality of instruction, low staff morale, and an overall nature of mistrust within the organization. Specifically, I plan to leverage my leadership on the board to impact the following issues in the school district:
● Providing relevant and ongoing professional development for teachers, staff, and administrators
● Building fiscal solvency and accountability
● Promoting culturally relevant instruction and positive student-teacher relationships
● Ensuring transparency and fluidity between the schools and the communities they serve
I believe that school board members play a critical role in setting policy that impacts
all aspects of the school system. I believe that the role of school board members is to
engage in the following:
Collaboratively work with the Superintendent to support the carrying out of the districts’ mission, vision, and goals.
Be skilled at balancing accountability and support of the Superintendent through evaluation and professional learning to ensure organizational sustainability of implementation of successful student programs.
Be open-minded, gain all perspectives, and gather relevant and factual information in order to support the Superintendent in providing valuable input during the negotiation process.
Align and sustain resources to meet district goals in accordance with state and federal mandates through effective stewardship.
Establish an effective and efficient structure that focuses on less time-managing operational issues and more time on policies to improve student achievement.
Support all district employees through a balanced approach in accountability, communication, and professional learning.
Understand, embrace, and monitor multiple forms of data in order to drive decisions on policy that supports improved student outcomes.
Advocate for the district, students and community as a whole.
I have lived in Vallejo since 1988, where I raised my children and grandchildren who are products of the Vallejo City Unified School District. I have served as an educator in the role of a teacher and administrator, which has naturally enhanced my community involvement in various ways beyond the school district activities. I have stayed abreast of the political landscape and its impact on education at the local, state, and national level throughout my educational tenure. As a school board member, I hope to demonstrate consistent leadership through modeling professionalism that yields a level of overall success that the district can be proud of.
Mr. Fox brings to the Board a level of practical experience with the public education system that will allow him to hit the ground running. John has been a homeowner in Vallejo for the past sixteen years, serving on the Glen Cove Association Board and as President of his HOA. He has served on four local boards and
all these organizations have remained solvent. He devoted the past nineteen years to teaching in the public school system where he developed a familiarity with budgeting and accreditation processes.
John remains active in the local community, and has routinely attended the often acrimonious school board meetings over the past three years. As a result of that admirable dedication and stamina he has developed a solid understanding of what has led to the current dysfunction and a clear picture of what will need to change in order to move the system forward.
John intends to focus on restoring a safe learning environment and rebuilding trusting relationships among students, staff, and parents. Mr. Fox understands that trust and accountability will be necessary to instill the kind of public confidence required to pass a future school bond measure. John believes in maintaining a consistent rigorous curriculum that promotes life-long learning and lasting skill development. His perspective as a teacher will provide a welcome balance to an autocratic administrative style that all too often regards our teaching professionals as adversaries rather than partners.
Voices of Vallejo Recommend These Candidates for Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education
Ralph "Tony" Gross
We will offer some food for thought. Administering the District does not have to be a zero sum game where the needs of any particular group of students, whether defined by ethnicity, income levels, or academic ability, can only be advanced at the expense of others. Time to throw away the enemies lists, get out of the defensive crouch, and engage with the whole community as stakeholders in building a nurturing school system. We are failing our children by every objective measure that matters, and we all suffer as a result whether we are aware or not. Please join us to vote for real change!
Voices of Vallejo Recommends Karen Sims for Solano Community College Board of Education
Solano Community College Board of Education District 1
Solano Community College will always have challenges. Any organization governed by regulations, local, state and federal laws, as well as public financing will have issues that must be resolved. I have the experience and skills to face those challenges in cooperation with the governing board and college administration to focus on the future, developing creative solutions, and developing additional doorways of learning for Vallejo residents.
Vallejo is one of the most diverse cities in the United States – and in local discussions it has
also been described as one of the most divided. I want to make sure that Solano Community College continues to make policy that not only encourages diverse student’s success but continues to foster a community that works together. “Social Capital” refers to connections among individuals. We all come from the various divisions and segments of society…to teach and to be taught in our turn. While we mingle together in pursuit of an education we can also learn to know each other more intimately, and in doing so, we can become stronger and more united. This is the spirit of Solano Community College that is seen on campus and in classrooms.
One of the responsibilities of a College Board trustee is to promote and support the College in its relationships with the public. I will focus on fostering a close working relationship with Solano Community College, the Vallejo City Unified School District and the City of Vallejo to develop creative uses and increased awareness of the many opportunities available to the community through Solano Community College.
I will champion programs that provide options for all students to have access to affordable, high quality choices for their education, including academic and occupational-specific skills. Not all students want to go on to a four-year college. I will focus on offering students a variety of academic programs that teach them skills that prepare them for many future job opportunities.
Vote for Karen Sims for Solano Community College Board of Education District 1