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A YIMBY Action Endorsement Questionnaire. View all November 2018 Questionnaires.

Monica Chinchilla

Candidate - SFUSD Board of Education

SFUSD owns a good deal of land in San Francisco. A distressing amount of this land is surface parking lots. Do you think this is a good use of this land? Would building housing on these lots be a better use? How important is this issue to you?

Housing and affordability is the #1 issue facing teachers and families in SFUSD. I am in full support of identifying key plots that could be used to build affordable housing for families and housing specifically for our educators. This will be one of the top priorities I will champion once elected.

More and more students attending our public schools suffer from homelessness. What do you believe the school district should do to address this problem?

Short term: creating emergency fund so families can stay in housing when they experience a short term crisis like hospital bill, job loss, death of family member. Opening up more schools like Buena Vista Horace Mann so homeless families have safe places to sleep

Long term: create pathway from navigation centers to safe / supportive permanent housing. increase inclusionary housing policies to 40% for new developments

I am in full support of increasing inclusionary housing policies to 40% for new developments, I am working with City to address pay equity between SFUSD and City positions so more communities of color can have higher pay, create more access to high paying jobs by increasing local hiring ordinances in newer industries like technology, marijuana sales, etc. I have worked on getting funds to outreach to Latino community to get access to BMR units, provide emergency fund for families facing short term crisis, and helped create access for low-income families to secure meaningful employment.

More and more teachers struggle with the cost of housing. What do you believe the school district should do to address this problem?

Once elected, I will further advocate for teacher housing, teacher stipends, and other housing programs with City agencies so that our educators are able to live and work in San Francisco. If If elected, I intend to begin a pre-qualification program for educators. Many families go through the lottery system for BMR housing to find out they do not qualify due to poor credit, etc. I intend to start a program, in partnership with MOHCD, to have district employees prequalified prior to entering the lottery system. I will also advocate with Mayor Breed for the continuation and expansion of the Teacher Next Door program and explore other opportunities to assist in creating access to housing for our district employees.

Getting children to and from public schools is a problem for many parents. A major finding from the SF CTA Child Transportation Study was that “most parents drive their children to school and afterschool programs.” Do you see this as a problem? What solutions do you think the school district could pursue to address this? Please feel free to discuss school busses, shuttles, protected bike lanes, etc.

I do see this as a problem and it negatively impacts our environment. I am in full support of programs like Safe Routes and encourage their expansion to more SFUSD schools so families can walk and bike safely to and from school. I also would like to partner with SFMTA to provide free muni for ALL children under 18 years old, so every child has access to their school.

YIMBYs care deeply about integration and healing the wounds of redlining and exclusionary zoning. These policies deliberately result in segregated schools. SFUSD has a lottery assignment system designed to fix this segregation problem in our housing, but it has not resulted in vastly more integrated schools. What do you see as solutions to this complex problem?

I strongly believe your home address shouldn’t determine the type of education our children receive, just as it shouldn’t affect any other service we provide our residents. The burden of researching schools shouldn’t be so onerous for parents and there are very basic things we can do to make the system easier for parents to navigate. We can make the application process online, utilize technology to help parents search for schools, provide videos of the school/interviews from teachers for families, provide those resources in Spanish/Cantonese/Vietnamese, etc. We can provide school tours on weekends and evenings so working families can have the opportunity to visit potential schools, and provide neighborhood liaisons to help families through the process.

We need to make our schools more equitable across the board to eliminate the race for the “top” schools. By expanding the community schools model, we get a greater investment by the community for these schools which will result in increased test scores, programs provided to students, and increased enrollment.

There are serious geographic equity issues with our schools. Additionally, as some districts are growing their housing supply, adding more and more children, the lack of quality schools everywhere is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. How do you plan on addressing the issue of access to quality schools in every district and opening more schools?

I am in support of building more schools. I am working with families now in the Potrero Hill/Mission Bay community to open a middle school. My goal is to keep families within SFUSD and as the population/demand for public schools grow, so should the building of schools. What makes the difference is parent involvement and investment. I am excited to work with families who are just starting their family to see how we can work together to improve and make sure all SFUSD schools are strong and that parents can feel confident that their children will receive a quality education.

Is there anything else you think our members should know about your candidacy? Links, references, endorsements, etc?

As the mother of a preschooler, I am a stakeholder in the success of our schools and it would be an honor to receive your support. Our kids develop their identity, discover their place in the world, and their potential through their interactions in our schools and I want to make sure all staff, educators, students, and families feel valued in SFUSD.

I strongly believe that our School Board must include parents with a sense of urgency as we work together to maintain educational excellence for all children as our top priority. I am fighting so that every child has equitable access to a rigorous high-quality education, preparing them for the demanding jobs in this economy and the future. I am committed to protecting the arts and giving every child access to these important programs, in every school.

My platform is built on three pillars: Teacher Support — livable wages so that the strong educators our children need can live and work in San Francisco; Strong Start — building a solid foundation for all children by prioritizing PK-3rd grade education; and, Community Schools — integrating support services for families onsite to build stronger schools and communities. I understand the importance of accountability and building and maintaining public trust as I work toward these goals, including ensuring that SFUSD is fiscally responsible and maximizes the use our tax dollars.

I want you to know that I am relentless! I bring people together and get results.

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