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Martha and Marisa

Martha Dominguez, the accidental SBOE nominee from El Paso who had been telling people she wanted to drop out of the race before the primary, has decided to stay on the ballot for November, according to the Lion Star blog. He’s not exactly thrilled about it, and I can hardly blame him. I repeat my earlier advice to Dominguez: Run, win, and resign so that someone who actually wants the job can have it.

As for Marisa Perez, no news and no updates on her Facebook page. An updated version of that San Antonio Current article says that a week after their call to her for a comment, she still has not called them back. Awesome.

Meanwhile, in a district that has a worthy candidate, Traci Jensen sent out the following press release earlier this week:

Traci Jensen

Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for the State Board of Education, District 6, today called upon the Houston Chronicle, Texas PTA, League of Women Voters – Houston, Greater Houston Partnership, and American Association of University Women – Texas, to facilitate a series of debates between Jensen and her Republican opponent Donna Bahorich. In a letter to the five organizations Jensen said “the State Board of Education which oversees the creation of curriculum for Texas public schools is arguably the most important political entity in Texas. However, Texans know very little about the SBOE or its members. Ms. Bahorich and I have major policy and philosophical differences that should be debated throughout SBOE District 6.”

“There are 15 State Board of Education Districts with each representing over 1.6 million people. If SBOE, District 6, were a Texas municipality, we would be the second largest city in the state. SBOE District 6 includes parts, most, or some of ten ISDs. Although we fully intend to conduct a voter intensive campaign, we believe a series of debates will go a long way toward educating the voters on this important position,” added Jensen.

“In 2010, when the State Board of Education dismantled the social studies curriculum, many of our state’s most respected business and civic leadership expressed concern and outrage at the SBOE’s decisions. I believe that it is now all of our responsibility to properly vet the candidates that are running for the SBOE,” continued Jensen.

Traci Jensen has been an educator in the Houston Area for 20 years. Her focus has been to improve public education for all students. She has worked in Aldine ISD as a classroom teacher. She also has experience in Alief, Aldine, Spring Branch, Houston, Katy, and Cy-Fair schools working with future educators. Jensen has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s in Social Studies Education, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

A copy of the letter sent to the League of Women Voters – Houston follows. Similar letters were sent to the other four organizations.

I’ve put the letter beneath the fold. Jensen is an underdog in a district that was drawn to elect a Republican, but given how big SBOE districts are and how little attention they get the least we voters deserve is the opportunity to hear the favored Republican speak to a general audience about the issues she would face. We’ll see what kind of response she gets.

June 5, 2012

Linda Cohn
Board of Trustees – President
League of Women Voters – Houston
4001 N. Shepherd, Suite 213
Houston, TX 77018

Cc: Donna Bahorich

Dear Ms. Cohn:

I am the Democratic nominee for State Board of Education (SBOE), District 6 and I am writing to ask you and League of Women Voters – Houston to facilitate a series of debates over the next five months between myself and my Republican opponent Donna Bahorich. The State Board of Education which oversees the creation of curriculum for Texas public schools is arguably the most important political entity in Texas. However, Texans know very little about the SBOE or its members. Ms. Bahorich and I have major policy and philosophical differences that should be debated throughout SBOE District 6.

As you well know, there are 15 State Board of Education Districts with each representing over 1.6 million people. If SBOE, District 6, were a Texas municipality, we would be the second largest city in the state. Recent news coverage on the SBOE has focused on the size of the district and difficulty in campaigning and representing these huge constituencies. This past April the Texas House of Representatives’ Redistricting Committee held a hearing in Austin to gather testimony on whether the “size of the districts inhibits the ability of board members to provide representation to their constituents.” SBOE District 6 includes parts, most, or some of ten ISDs. Although we fully intend to conduct a voter intensive campaign, we believe a series of debates will go a long way toward educating the voters on this important position.

In 2010, when the State Board of Education dismantled the social studies curriculum, many of our state’s most respected business and civic leadership expressed concern and outrage at the SBOE’s decisions. I believe that it is now all of our responsibility to properly vet the candidates that are running for the SBOE. We propose that a series of debates be held in every ISD represented by District 6 and that the debates begin later this month. We have also asked the American Association of University Women – Texas, Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Chronicle, and the Texas PTA to participate in facilitating the proposed debates.

Civic engagement is a hallmark of an active and vibrant democracy. It is my hope that you and the League of Women Voters – Houston will answer my call and provide the leadership in the exercise of civic engagement that will better serve the community.

Sincerely,

Traci Jensen
Democratic Nominee for SBOE 6

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One Comment

  1. joshua bullard says:

    traci jensen has worried me from the onset,she comes across abrasive,pushy and over bearing,as noted by houstonian democrats the houston chronicle refused to endorse her for several reasons,one is,she has an axe to grind and as voters with our kids this doesnt make for a comfortable situation for our children-i dont feel comfortable electing traci jensen because i dont think she is in touch with the true educational needs for texas school children,in addition her opponent donna behorich has a proven track record of working well with our kids eductional needs as well a mountian of support from texas teachers,if your republican or democrat or even indepe,the clear choice here is donna bahorich.

    fighting for you,always,joshua ben bullard

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