GENERAL UPDATE January 20, 2021
SIT IN REPORT
Such an amazing day & quite the media event. Our message is getting out
Thanks to everyone who came to actually sit-in and write letters.
MEDICAL PANEL ON SAFE SCHOOL RE-OPENING
Thank you to Dr Deborah Simon-Weisberg, Claudia & Mara for coordinating such an excellent panel.
We were so fortunate to have Dr Noble, Dr Saavedra, & Louis Freedberg participate.
Please help us education our community by sharing this video far and wide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKPWOYAFpiQ
REPORTS ON MEETINGS WITH SCHOOL LEADERSHIP
SUPERINTENDENT: A few of us convened with Superintendent Stephens on Thursday 1/14, the day after our sit-in. He was forthcoming by telling us we need to get more parent support from the larger community and to keep doing what we’re doing. Gov Newsom’s plan, although it seems like a positive step, actually creates a new set of logistical problems for school districts to reopen in order to get the funding of $450 per student. That’s why on a statewide level we’re advocating for Gov Newsom to mandate public schools to reopen.
BFT: We met with Matt Meyer, president of BFT. The goal was to understand their position, convey our position, and find ways to move past the stalemate. BFT is a democratic organization, whose leaders respond to constituents, and need to run everything by its members (majority determines the outcome, it is not a monolith, but there is a small highly vocal group opposing, as there are many in favor). What transpired as the most important reason for their current position is their safety, that is, fear (founded, as there are many cases of COVID among teachers and their relatives, teachers with compromised health, etc.; and unfounded). We extended the invitation to the medical panel, and also shared the youtube video once posted. We left the channel of communication open. There is a BFT meeting on Thursday. Like Grahame emailed earlier today we can open minds one by one. Give them the data and they will see. Please reach out to your teachers. It doesn’t have to be an adversarial discourse. It’s all in the best interest of safety and public education.
BERKELEY CITY COUNCIL (Rashi Kersawani): Ben Gerhardstein organized a meeting with Rashi. Thanks Ben! We asked her if she can help educate the public through public health campaigns. The group that met with Terry Taplin asked a similar request to start a public education campaign on safety of reopening schools. We’re trying to link up Terry & Rashi's efforts on the city council. Please reach out to your councilmembers to see if they would be interested in joining this effort.
CAR CARAVAN with Oakland group from Cal campus to Oakland Art museum by Lake Merrit.
End with forming the Open Schools quilt- made of kid drawings on individual panels. More details to come!
SPREAD THE WORD
As mentioned above, we need more parents on board. If you can tell 10 friends about what we’re doing you may find they’re more like-minded than you think. We’ve had 700+ views on our youtube with the medical panel.