On Nov. 8, Berkeley will vote for three school board members. This is an important election coming out of a very challenging time for schools. With the departure of two experienced school board directors (Julie Sinai and Ty Alper), Berkeley Unified School District needs board members with deep experience working with our school district and having longstanding relationships with the community to resolve systemic problems that affect our students.

As members of Latinos Unidos de Berkeley, we’d like to highlight one of our endorsed candidates, Michael Chang. Mike is a longtime BUSD parent, PTA member and a 15-year education attorney with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). At OCR, he has worked with school districts across California to implement constructive remedies so their programs are accessible to all students with disabilities, English Language Learners and victims of sexual harm. He has implemented remedies in districts across California, ensuring that students, particularly students of color, have equitable access to the programs and services. Mike is also a longtime lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Department of Ethnic Studies.

Not only is Mike Chang a highly qualified professional with a proven track record of supporting all students, but he is also a bridge builder who understands how to work collaboratively with community-based organizations. For example, Mike has been present for the Latinx community before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has regularly engaged with Latinos Unidos de Berkeley (LUB) to provide guidance on government policy and regulations and help us advocate for better services for multilingual learners. 

As the son of immigrant parents, Mike understands the unique challenges immigrant families face trying to navigate our public schools. This type of support has been game-changing and so needed, especially when Black and Latinx communities have been hit so hard by the pandemic and the systemic inequities it laid bare.

Mike is also committed to building trust and relationships with all underrepresented communities in Berkeley. He has been a bridge builder between our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Latinx families in the Berkeley school district and worked closely with a trustee from the California Latino School Boards Association and BUSD to pass a resolution denouncing hate crimes and bigotry targeting the AAPI community in our schools. 

Latinos Unidos de Berkeley believes that unity among all affinity groups is important to help close the opportunity gap for vulnerable students. We know we can count on Mike to continue working collaboratively with community organizations to pass important policies ensuring that all our students will thrive in our schools. 

More than ever, we need school board directors like Mike Chang, who understand civil rights, the importance of strong governance, and advocacy for equitable education for ALL students. Join Latinos Unidos de Berkeley and vote for Mike Chang!

Héctor Malvido, Laura Rivas, and Lupe Gallegos-Diaz are co-chairs of the grassroots community organization called Latinos Unidos de Berkeley. Since the early 1990s, LUB has been focused on servicing and centering the voice of the Latino community, working across ethnic groups and issues, and building bridges with community members and organizations to make Berkeley a city that is for everyone.

The deadline to register to vote online or by mail in Alameda County is Oct. 24, and the election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. We put together a guide to the essentials of how to register and vote, what’s on the ballot, voters’ rights and more.

Here are some other helpful election resources:

See complete 2022 election coverage on Berkeleyside.

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