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Activist of the Month: Connie Gerlitz

Connie Gerlitz with her son Jordan

Connie with her son Jordan

At the League of Education Voters (LEV), we recognize all of the hard work that you do toward improving public education across Washington state. We are pleased to announce our Activist of the Month for August: Connie Gerlitz. Read more about her experience as a long-time advocate for all kids.

Connie Gerlitz got her start in advocacy through her work at Safeco Insurance “way back,” she says, where she worked to improve safety standards for children. She worked with the Legislature to fight for laws around things like seatbelts for children, car seats, and bike helmets.

Working with the Legislature gave her the confidence to speak publicly and testify on behalf of issues that she believes in, and she also gained insight into why working with the Legislature was so important.

Connie has been involved with the League of Education Voters (LEV) since its inception, and she recalls attending an exploratory meeting with LEV co-founder Lisa Macfarlane in Bellevue thirteen-some years ago. (more…)

Posted in: Activist of the Month, Advocacy and Activism, Blog, LEV News

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Endorsements announced by the League of Education Voters

The League of Education Voters (LEV) is pleased to announce its endorsements for the 2014 elections.

“Our vision is to improve public education for all students in Washington state, from cradle to career, with ample, equitable, and stable funding,” said LEV CEO Chris Korsmo. “To achieve that vision, our goal is to elect candidates who will be partners in that effort.”

LEV’s endorsement process is conducted by a committee of board and community members who interviewed candidates beginning in May. The LEV Board voted at their June and July meetings to approve the committee’s recommendations for endorsement. (more…)

Posted in: Blog, Elections, Featured, LEV News, Press Releases & Statements

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First step: Engagement. Second step: Change the world.

Micaela RazoEarlier this month, a study from the University of Washington examined ways that immigrant parents could become engaged in their child’s school when traditional methods are barriers to their involvement.

That study resonated with League of Education Voters (LEV) Community Organizer Micaela Razo, who has done much of the work mentioned in the study—both as a parent and as an organizer—by engaging parents in migrant families in eastern Washington.

We asked Micaela to tell us about her experience engaging parents in their child’s school, and she told the story of creating the first Spanish-speaking PTA in Washington state, formed two-and-a-half years ago in Grandview, and how she got there.

I became an advocate for my child when he was very young. We were living in one of the wealthiest school districts in the area and the PTA lived up to the stereotypes you hear about—that it’s just bake sales and fundraising.

But I was finding that I had to navigate the maze of school bureaucracy and learn to advocate for my child all on my own, so I decided to infiltrate the bake sales. I was the first parent of color to join the PTA. (more…)

Posted in: Advocacy and Activism, Blog, LEV News

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