Andy Thorburn For OC Department of Education: District 3

Andy Thorburn For OC Department of Education: District 3

Andy Thorburn is running for the Orange County Board of Education, District Three, which includes North Tustin. Thorburn is a former teacher and worker’s rights advocate. He is also very active in local community services Boards, including the Community Action fund for the Orange County Planned Parenthood chapter, and the Huntington Disease Task force.

The Orange County Board of Education has oversight responsibilities for the Orange County Department of Education (Superintendent). They run a school district of 6-7000 students, including the most vulnerable in the county: some incarcerated, some expelled, some needing an alternative program. The Board statutory function is to approve budget for the county Department of Education. The most contentious function for the Board is as an appellate division for charter schools that are rejected by school districts.

The current Board does not reflect current Orange County values; they look like the Orange County from 30 years ago. There is a three-to-two majority of very conservative trustees, with highly religious intent and a libertarian outlook. They have been holding anti-inclusion workshops and forums, focused on undermining the CA Healthy Youth Act, and removing local district control on charter schools. This majority is not driven by policy, they are driven by a far right wing ideological agenda. They are not working for the betterment of our schools and students.  Mr. Thorburn’s opponent, incumbent Ken Williams, has appeared on radio and television programs defending abstinence only sex education programs and believes in conversion therapy for LGBTQ students. He is a strong advocate for charter schools.

This radical right wing majority is also holding hostage the budget approval for the current fiscal year. The Board and the Superintendent did not agree on the final budget, and have not been able to come to a conclusion. The State Board reviewed the situation, and found that the County Board overstepped their authority. In response, the County Board is now suing both the State and County Superintendents. This is a gross waste of taxpayer money and efforts.

Andy Thorburn is running for the Board of Education in District Three to attempt to repair the damage between the County Board and Superintendent. He is distressed by public discourse of education in this country from the top down, and wants to make a difference in the educational community.
North Tustin, make sure to vote for him in March!

Re-Elect Beckie Gomez to the OC Department of Education: District 1

Beckie Gomez: OC Department of Education District 1

Beckie Gomez is the current incumbent for the Orange County Board of Education, District 1, and we encourage the City of Tustin residents to re-elect her! Gomez is a two-time Tustin City Council member, a longtime resident, and a former PTA/PTO president at two Tustin schools. She is one of the holdouts against a dangerously conservative 3/2 majority currently on the Board.

The County Board of Ed hasn’t been a very well-known body for very long, but is becoming much more so due to a history of scandals, a few very problematic Board members, and some objectionable policies that have the potential to harm our students. The Board is currently struggling with the Department of Education to approve a budget, overruling district decisions on charter schools, and refusing to enforce CHYA (California Healthy Youth Act). It is acting outside of its oversight limits, not providing good guidance to the districts, and overriding local controls.

Gomez has been a champion for students and parents for her entire tenure on the Board of Education. She notes, “The future of our communities is reliant on an educated population, which starts with our K-12 students.” It is essential for her to remain on the Board in order to maintain transparency, keep the Board accountable to the the public and to students, and make sure that all Orange County children have access to an education.

Ashleigh Aitken for OC Supervisor: District 3!

Ashleigh Aitken For OC Board of Supervisors, District 3

Ashleigh Aitken grew up in Orange County (her husband is from Tustin!), and still lives in Anaheim with her husband and three young children. She is a former federal prosecutor, longtime community activist, and has been on the leadership boards of several local non-profits. She is involved in the community on a daily basis and reflects the evolving values of Orange County. Aitken is running against Don Wagner, who, as the current Supervisor for the 3rd District, has refused to use the resources available to him to help solve the OC homelessness crisis.

What is the Board of Supervisors and Why Does It Matter To You?

The Board of Supervisors controls all State, Federal, and County funding for county services such as parks, mental health & homeless services, Cal Optima, and public safety. They funnel money from larger government bodies into communities, with an annual budget of over $6 billion.

The biggest issue facing the Board of Supervisors is homelessness. The county has $800 million in taxpayer funds earmarked for homelessness outreach and services, but has balked at spending that money. Click HEREHEREHERE and HERE for more information about the ways in which the OC Board of Supervisors has refused to use their available funds to deal with the homelessness crisis affecting many OC cities including Tustin.

Aitken has been on the board of a local homeless shelter and the United Way, so this is very personal for her. “If the county isn’t going to build permanent and supportive housing, then they must partner with non-profits that do,” she says. “More than 200 people died on Orange County streets in 2019. This is a moral question of what we will do for this population as a society.”

Aitken’s other focuses include community safety, transportation, and bringing community values to the Board. The Third District has a growing population, and traffic and parking are becoming impacted. She will look at new development to effect reasonable growth while still preserving the feel of the community. She is very interested in being involved with TCA and OCTA to figure out how to get around our county without impacting already high-traffic areas. In addition, she will ensure that the county has adequate and well thought out emergency and evacuation plans, and that residents know about them.

Aitken comments, “we need effective new leadership and energy to solve problems that have been languishing for years.” It’s time for local community values to take the lead in Orange County. Make sure to vote for Ashleigh Aitken for the OC Board of Supervisors, District Three!

CLICK HERE to visit Ashleigh’s Campaign website

JOIN US! 4th Annual OC Women’s March – January 18

For the past three years thousands of women, men, and families peacefully took to the streets in Orange County to make their voices heard on a variety of issues and to demand change.
At the OC Women’s March this year, we want to emphasize everything we are going to accomplish this year. Our county’s strength was confirmed in November 2018 when the activism in Orange County fueled the biggest transformation our county has ever seen – 2020 will be another year of great transformation and change for the better!
Tustin Dems are marching – come be part of it!
SIGN MAKING – SUNDAY JANUARY 12
Join Tustin Dems to make plans (and signs!) for the March!
TIME: 2:00 to 4:00
WHERE: A member home in Tustin – Click HERE to Sign Up!
(*Address will be emailed to sign ups)
Some Sign Supplies will be provided – feel free to bring your own as well!
SATURDAY JANUARY 18 – OC WOMEN’S MARCH
We are meeting in Tustin to carpool to the March in Santa Ana
TIME: 8:00 AM
WHERE: TOP of parking garage behind Rutabegorz/Old Town Tustin
We will carpool over, march and return to Rutabegorz after the march to celebrate another great event! Don’t miss out – it’s more important then ever to make our voices heard and make our numbers seen!

We asked and you answered! Tustin Dem Plans for 2020

At the December Membership brunch the Board did a (very) informal survey about what issues were most important to our members in 2020. In response to your survey answers these are the issues we will be covering this year:
  1. Getting Trump Out
  2. Re-electing Katie Porter and other local Democrats
  3. Voter Registration
  4. Effective Canvassing – How to do it and success strategies
Let’s all work together to make #1 and #2 a reality in 2020 – we are more powerful together!

Join us for Brunch with Katie Porter!

Join the Tustin Dems for a delicious Holiday Brunch with our special guest: CA 45 Representative Katie Porter.  Find out what’s really going on in Washington D.C. and what Katie is doing to help Orange County families.
DATE:  THIS Sunday, December 15
TIME:  10:00 am to 12:00 pm
PLACE:  A Member’s Home in North Tustin  (Address details will be emailed prior to the event date.)
SUGGESTED DONATION:  $10 Per Person at the Door
Know someone who’d like to find out more about what Tustin Democrats are planning for the election in 2020?  Please forward this email to them!