We may be ailing from the political upset of 2016, but it is important to remember that action must be taken at every opportunity to preserve the integrity of an inclusive country. For Californians, the time to decide will come again during the 2018 Gubernatorial Election, a race which will determine the leader for a state still attempting to reconcile a conservative national agenda and that of a progressive state. Former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin is among those candidates seeking to be elected this November, and as a grassroots candidate, she is leading her campaign to build itself without the aid of corporate dollars and ties. As California’s very own Bernie Sanders- style candidate, she is directly reaching out to people and mobilizing a people’s force with people’s support.
She is indubitably one of the most progressive candidates for governor that California has yet to have. Raised in San Francisco and San Carlos in a middle-class family, Delaine attended UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara. After she graduated with her masters, she taught at community colleges until she won election to the assembly.
Her accomplishments as a state legislator are commendable. During her office, she successfully authored legislation on education, environmental protection, transportation, and government efficiency. She is the notorious author of AB2448 in 1987 which imposed fees on landfill operators based on solid waste amounts, raising $100 million for Superfund landfill cleanup work. Also, she has worked to fight for affordable healthcare, tuition-free college, gender equality, and LGBTQ rights.
As high school students, one of our major concerns likely regards the future of the education system in California. In the wake of withering federal protections for public education, it is important to consider what the gubernatorial candidates have to offer on that front. Especially because California spends very little per pupil compared to other states despite containing the highest percentage of low-income students, we need to elect a candidate who is going to strive to reverse the trend. Luckily, one of Delaine’s major platforms is educational equality.
As former State Superintendent, she has led programs to increase spendings per pupil, classroom technologies, and teacher training. She has stated that she believes in the importance of training teachers and ensuring that they have the support they need to carry their classrooms. She believes in the importance of increased teacher training and the state’s support in facilitating it. As a former student of the UC system, she has stated her disappointment in the rising costs of college tuition. As such, she is a strong proponent of tuition-free college and building more colleges in the state, especially in rural areas where students usually can not afford to travel to attain a college degree.
Her positions are indubitably strong when it comes to progressive values, but the onus lies on progressives in the state to mobilize around her to get her elected. She has built her campaign without corporate donations and promises and, as such, needs a grassroots effort as support in the upcoming election.