Our Tucson daily newspaper Arizona Daily Star has endorsed community activist Betts Putnam-Hidalgo (who ran unsuccessfully for a TUSD seat in 2012) and political newcomer Jen Darland in the upcoming Tucson Unified School District Governing Board non-partisan race for 2 candidates.
Jen Darland is running for the first time after years of involvement at her children’s school and co-founding the advocacy group Arizona Education Network.
She participated in two state efforts to increase education funding, including the successful Proposition 100 in 2010, which provided a temporary 1-cent sales tax for public education and other services.
The Star says this about Betts:
Putnam-Hidalgo ran for the board two years ago, as did three other 2014 candidates. Despite her loss, she still kept up her regular attendance at board meetings. She’s also been actively involved in school site councils, served as a community representative and taught English as a second language to parents.
She speaks with enthusiasm of participating in parent leadership training through Voices for Education as a starting point for her advocacy. She describes herself as a “bulldog” when it comes the education.
Betts is a community activist and P/T teacher (“parent, volunteer and advocate for public schools”), and Darland calls herself a “volunteer parent education advocate” at TUSD. Both candidates have children attending TUSD schools.
The alternative Tucson Weekly announced on October 10,2014 their mostly Democratic endorsements for candidates running in the November general election.
The Weekly endorsed only community activist Jen Darland as a person “who has worked tirelessly as a volunteer on so many campaigns to try to improve the schools that we can’t even count them. Darland is smart and possesses the kind of good judgment that we’d like to see applied to the TUSD board” (page 10).
Neither newspaper endorsed the current incumbents Adelita Grijalva (3 terms) and Michael Hicks (1 term) seeking re-election. Other candidates in this race are former TUSD Governing Bd. member Miguel Cuevas (1 term), and political newcomer/engineer Rene Bernal. Candidates Debe Campos-Fleenor and Don Cotton ran before in 2012, as did candidate Francis Saitta who ran for PCC Governing Bd. (District 5) in 2012.
UPDATE: Another TUSD candidates forum will be held on Oct. 20 at the YWCA. Check our Calendar for more details/info on which candidates will be attending.
Vote wisely or or before Nov. 4, 2014. Early voting started on October 9.