Campbell Union High School District Governing Board, Trustee Area #2
David Lee Sabes
As a father, I feel very lucky to live in a warm enriching community where families support one another. Feeling a sense of community and belonging is crucial for our children's mental health, education and personal growth. Our leaders must remember that we entrust in them to help build, and nurture our communities so that our children may thrive.
In a recent poll by Choose Children 2022 of likely general election voters, more than half of parents with children under age 18 say they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years. What do you think are the top three issues affecting our children and families and how will you make our region a place where all families can thrive?
As a native of Silicon Valley I have seen how much more difficult it is to live in the Bay Area, many from my generation left with their families. I believe that the top three issues affecting our children are: the cost of housing, the cost of education, and the mental health crisis facing our children living in such a highly competitive area. It is sad that although our area has economic abundance, these riches have not enriched the lives of everyone. If you are reading this, you care. You know how your family and neighbors are doing. As a leader I would go out in the community and ask everyone I could their 'top three issues' and understand what others see as well.
As we have learned over the past three years, without quality, affordable, childcare, parents can’t go to work. What will you do to address challenges accessing childcare and preschool programs in our diverse communities?
As a member of the CUHSD Board I would do everything possible to ensure that families who need programs to help their households manage work and taking care of their teenage children and families are included in the discussion. Often we think that kids in their early teens can take care of themselves, and why would a family need child care. Well, this couldn't be further from the case. It is crucial during these years that teenage children are taken care of as well. Through after school enrichment programs, food programs, and tutoring teenagers can be given a chance to succeed. I am a believer that support for quality, affordable childcare is a must for all families.
Much of the student achievement gap has been linked to the opportunity gap that children in low-income families and children of color confront (e.g., lack of access to healthy food, preschool, tutors, and enrichment activities). If elected, what will you do to increase equity of opportunity?
What I would do first is to make hiring social workers for high schools priority one. It is difficult to hire people. But, the school board needs to act like a company in crisis, and use resources to find a solution. Each day that goes by is another day that students in our community are losing opportunities, or falling into a cycle of poverty. We need professionals to help guide us in proven ways to address these problems. Every child in our schools should be thought of as if they were our own. We must ensure that each student never is in food crisis, never feels the sting of discrimination and is able to get that tutor they need, enroll in activities, and be encouraged to succeed.
What steps will you take to support inclusion and outcomes for children with special needs or with disabilities and their families to be fully included in our community?
I chose to run for school board because my daughter stutters. When I went to my local high schools to see if there would be any support from the district, school, or teachers there was close to none. I felt alone. To change this, the first step that I would take would be to ensure that parent support groups are created to help support one another. Special needs teachers should have more opportunities to interact with parents share their child's successes in classroom. I believe that whenever possible students should participate at the same time in activities with all students. We talk about diversity and inclusion yet often students with special needs or disabilities are left out.
There is a mental health crisis among children, youth, and those who care for and educate them. If elected, how will you use the resources of your new role to improve access to mental and behavioral health services?
As parents we need to understand that the younger generation is going through a mental health crisis. In fact, we all are. This first step towards fixing this problem is to remove the Stigma from mental health. Accept that our kids need help. Suicide rates in teenagers are shockingly on the rise. We need to act as quickly as possible. We must hire more social workers and Mental health Professionals. The excuse is that it is hard to find people because of money. Well, our children can't wait. My priority is to comb through that budget. Teachers need training, students need support and activities where they can feel safe to process their challenges.