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Readers weigh in on who should fill the school board spot vacated by Rob Wagner

Neelam Gupta is the best choice for Lake Oswego School Board

Neelam is the VP of the Schools Foundation. Her Partner Kabir Bhatia is on the LOJHS Student Advisory Committee and works at Nike. I don't know Neelam, but I know we need equity in our schools and in Lake Oswego. We have a reputation in the Metro area for being an all-white town where Black and Brown people are not welcome. If we are to ever change that we must change the face of our government and our school board. The protests that are going on in Portland and all over the USA are a testament to that. Lake Oswego is more diverse than most people know or accept and we need to have faces on the school board who understand that deeply. We need to stop ignoring and dismissing racism, because our kids know it exists.

Connie Lee

Chair of Racial Justice Subcommittee of Clackamas Democrats Justice Committee

Lake Oswego

Neelam Gupta has the lived experience our school board needs

Neelam Gupta in School Board Position 2 would bring a much-needed lived experience to our school board. Neelam was born in L.A. to South Asian immigrant parents. Her father Dharam was one of the first South Asians employed by SoCal Edison. Neelam's family relocated to the Middle East within an expatriate community, where she witnessed the intersectionality of race, class, religion and immigration play out each day. Neelam's visits with extended family in India, every year have shaped her world view. One set of her grandparents directed schools providing women with educational opportunities, and her other set of grandparents were farmers and small business owners in a rural area. Neelam's ability to meet people where they are at, share her lived experiences and support our district as we face dynamic policy shifts around race, class, learning modalities and gender will be unparalleled. The Lake Oswego School Board and our community will be stronger with Neelam's voice on the board.

Massene Mboup

Lake Oswego

Gupta is right choice for school board

We have an amazing opportunity within our school district to appoint a local leader, activist and mom who has shown a deep commitment to our community, Neelam Gupta. Neelam has dual masters' degrees in public health and social work from UCLA and will be an experienced voice during the crisis our community and world are facing right now. With Neelam's voice, we can be assured that our board not only has an equity-focused perspective but that we have a reflection of the true makeup of our community in our district's leadership. From being co-chair on the LOSD DEI Community to being Vice President of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation, Neelam has shown her leadership rests in action and participation. Our community as a whole, our school district and above all our children would all benefit from her leadership. Neelam Gupta is the best choice for Position 2.

Emily Lievens

Lake Oswego

Gupta for Lake Oswego school board

I am writing to provide my unequivocal support for Neelam Gupta for Lake Oswego School Board Position 2. I have known Neelam and her family for several years, working with them and other members of our community to enhance the experiences of all our district's students. I have witnessed their thoughtful approaches to new challenges, serving with her partner Kabir on the LOJHS Student Advisory Committee, with Neelam on LOSD's DEI committee since its inception, and with both of them confronting the day to day demands on the parent community to support and enrich the learning environment and experiences of our students. As a community, we have all benefited from Neelam's work in the schools her daughter Ria has attended, as well as from her efforts as VP of the Schools Foundation.

As a result of these interactions, I am confident that Neelam embodies both the professional and experiential acumen necessary to be impactful as a member of the Lake Oswego School Board. But beyond those threshold expectations of anyone pursuing this position, she has also demonstrated the passion, compassion and vested interest in our community and schools that fuels her indefatigable commitment to effect change and move forward.

There are both new and old challenges that our educational community faces, many external that require creative responses and an open mind, and many internal that require understanding, empathy and again, an open mind. Having worked with Neelam as a fellow parent and having spoken to her about her stances on the fiscal, structural and cultural issues facing our district, I am convinced that she will serve our community tirelessly to help enhance the educational and environmental quality and standards that residents of this district have come to expect.

Brian Bills

Lake Oswego

Neelam Gupta for Lake Oswego School Board Position 2

Neelam Gupta has demonstrated her commitment to the Lake Oswego School District from her work on the Foundation to her work as a Co-Chair of the DEI Committee. As a health professional, researcher, social worker and person of color, Neelam would bring a perspective sorely missing on the School Board, especially at this time of COVID-19.

Neelam's 20+ year career as a strategic health care leader has been devoted to advancing health equity in cross-sector, multi-million-dollar initiatives: with a philanthropic foundation, managed care plan, workforce development agency, national health care apprenticeship center, and community clinic association. Neelam also worked as a social worker in a domestic violence agency, riding along with police officers and providing survivors with trauma-informed therapy.

I know that Neelam is dedicated to equity and making certain that students have a rich and inclusive experience as they go through our school system. She has shown in her professional career a deep commitment to healing and trauma recovery which is so needed right now throughout our schools and our community. Parents and students alike will benefit from her expertise. Neelam is the best choice for Position 2, and we are lucky for her willingness to step up and lead.

Willie Poinsette

Lake Oswego


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