Saturday, July 20, 2024

In the current School Committee term, members have faced the challenges of a public health crisis, the long-standing failure of Cambridge Public Schools to ameliorate racial and economic opportunity gaps, and persistent demands of caregivers, students and educators to participate more fully in decisions about the district. Four of these committee members – Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal, David Weinstein, Rachel Weinstein and Ayesha Wilson – have played an outstanding role in addressing these challenges. (David Weinstein and Rachel Weinstein are not related.) Our Revolution Cambridge is proud to endorse them for reelection. We are also proud to endorse Daria Johnson in her first run for committee.

  • Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal is an immigrant and a district parent who served seven years on the Amigos School Council. He is a managing director of Leaf, providing assistance to democratically owned enterprises. In his first term, he led a collaborative development process for the district’s Covid-19 health and safety manual, a recognized model around the state.
  • David Weinstein is a former classroom teacher and a district parent. He has a career in K-12 and higher education of more than 20 years and is assistant director of a 50-state civic education program based at Brandeis University. During his first term, he worked to secure funding for a district Caregiver University and successfully promoted outdoor learning.
  • Rachel Weinstein attended Cambridge Public Schools and is a current district parent. Her professional work is dedicated to improving outcomes for historically underserved populations. Prioritizing racial equity, she cosponsored district initiatives to enhance family engagement and to secure funding for the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
  • Ayesha Wilson grew up in Cambridge public housing and attended district schools. She has 20 years’ experience as a social worker with Cambridge youth and is a WorkForce Program teacher-counselor. In her first term, she prioritized meeting the safety and social-emotional needs of students and educators and helped shape the district’s new antiracist mission.
  • Daria Johnson is a district parent who attended Cambridge Public Schools. Currently an academic administrator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has worked in the city for more than 30 years listening, guiding and motivating students from early to higher education.

In the next committee term, Our Revolution Cambridge looks forward to working with these great candidates to enable all students to have their educational and social-emotional needs met and to overcome gaps caused by unequal opportunity so all students can thrive academically. We believe this will require – among other things – the hard work to make the school district antiracist, as it aspires to be; an end to MCAS high-stakes standardized testing; support for public education as a public good (including universal pre-kindergarten); increased participation and empowerment of all stakeholders; and selection of a transformative permanent superintendent through a transparent and collaborative process.

Sheli Wortis for Our Revolution Cambridge