Not unto ourselves, alone are we born
Seiji Shiratori and Kirsten Wyatt; two names we hope you vote for on May 18th for the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board.
Both of us have spent our careers in public service; Seiji in U.S. diplomatic corps, and Kirsten in local government. We found our purpose in helping others and we are running for the school board to continue our tradition of giving back. Along the campaign trail, we learned we are both graduates of Willamette University. The university's motto is "not unto ourselves, alone are we born." Those inspiring words mean that while aspiring in life, it is important to find your purpose, believe in it, and give back to others.
Now, more than ever, we need to elect local leaders with strong community ties and real relationships with local elected leaders — leaders who care about someone other than their own tribe, clique, or class. We are both proudly endorsed by the mayors of West Linn and Wilsonville, and the legislators from both communities. These connections will be invaluable when serving on the school board, with ready access to work with our regional partners.
We proudly earned the endorsements of Stand for Children, Planned Parenthood, and Pro-Choice Oregon. Why are these endorsements important? These groups are mission-driven, with a focus on equity and inclusion. We are proud to be backed by organizations that want all our students — regardless of skin color, address, religion, gender, sexuality, first language, or ability — to have a chance to thrive and find their purpose. More fundamentally, we want all students and community members to feel safe and to feel proud to call themselves Americans.
We know most families want their kids back in school five days a week, in person. We know they want that to start yesterday. We hear you. We promise to work with you to get kids back to school safely and to help them catch up on learning and experiences they missed during the past year.
We know many of you are wary of new spending and new development. No new taxes. We get it. And, we commit to making sure your voice is heard when we talk about difficult issues such as the Dollar Street middle school, the arts and technical high school, and how to make tough tradeoffs in our budgets.
As we begin to broaden investment in our arts and technical high school and develop more robust career pathways programming, we must make sure our facilities, teachers, staff, and community have the tools they need to prepare our students to succeed in the 21st century. What this means is sound financial oversight of the district's largest bond in history; robust dialogue with employers to ensure our students, college bound or not, are prepared for the needs of the workforce; a commitment to transparency in our oversight; and enacting, not reacting, to the types of career options and technical training our students need.
We pledge to bring thoughtfulness, honesty, and integrity to every issue in front of the school board. We may not always agree with each other on every issue, but we promise thoughtful and careful analysis of every decision. Please cast your vote on May 18th for Seiji Shiratori in Position 5 and Kirsten Wyatt in Position 3.
Seiji Shiratori is running for position 5 on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. Kirsten Wyatt is running for position 3.
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