I oppose an advisory voter referendum on our district’s name change.
(1) This board is in its lame duck session. Two new trustees will be sworn in on December 11, in 28 days. The new board should decide how to approach this issue. Plus, the new board will have the right and opportunity to revoke this referendum if it is passed tonight.
(2) The board has a moral obligation to lead on this issue. We were elected to make decisions about inclusion and how to make our community inclusive, strong and resilient. We were elected to study facts, discuss policy options and make the best decisions for our community.
(3) The issue is not something to relegate to majority popular opinion. A Dixie graduate asked, “Would it be appropriate to determine whether or not a particular name was sexist with a popular vote where 90% of the vote included men and 10% of the vote included women? “
(4) The referendum will not stop name change supporters from submitting petitions. They intend to submit new names in January to trigger CA Ed Code requirement that a vote be taken within 40 days of submission.
(5) The referendum invites unlimited campaign contributions into our community. This is not an issue that should be determined by political funders or race to fill campaign coffers. Plus, there is nothing to stop the Koch Brothers, the KKK and other national interests from funding a referendum campaign.
(6) An advisory election starts a dangerous precedent for our school district. What will happen if people would like to change the name of one of our schools? What will happen if people would like to change our curriculum and some members of the community think the decision?