Election 2020 in the Bubble: Agoura Hills City Council and LVUSD School Board

sticker design with american flagI’m going to make this short and sweet, and limit my recommendations to two races: Agoura Hills City Council and Las Virgenes Unified School District Board of Education. Not that I don’t have strong opinions about other contests, but because let’s face it—you’ve probably already made up your mind about who you favor for president and vice-president, state representatives, and state and county propositions*. But enough people have texted, PM’d, DM’d, or emailed me with questions about these hyperlocal elections that I’m just going to put it here like I would have if I were blogging more than once in a while. (If you really enjoy the Agoura Hills Mom community, join the Parents of Agoura Hills group on Facebook, or follow the official page.)

Agoura Hills City Council: I endorse Linda Northrup and Illece Buckley Weber. I have watched them champion the preservation of our open space while graciously inviting dialogue with developers who want to do business here. I saw them in action after the Woolsey Fire and amidst the pandemic. I have laughed with them in happy times and worked alongside them in tough times. They are role models for leadership—not just for women in leadership, but for good humans leading the way.

Two women in white shirts and business jackets

Me with Kiyomi Kowalski at a candidate forum in 2018

LVUSD School Board: I am all in for Kiyomi Kowalski. You can vote for two candidates out of the three who are running, and I am delighted to see that another new face is on the ballot this year besides Kiyomi. Even a school board seat is a beast of an elected position to achieve. My hat’s off to Kate Vadehra as well. It is hard work and you have to be committed to the race, in it to win it, even if you lose.

That’s exactly how Kiyomi is. You may remember that I pounded the pavement (and my keyboard) with her in 2018 as she sought to become the first person of color to serve on the Board of Education for LVUSD. I admire her so much for putting her name in and going for it because she believes in our school district and that it can be improved. She is smart, warm, inquisitive, thoughtful, and full of passion. She is real. She is not afraid to “call a thing a thing,” as she puts it.

The day after the election two years ago, I wrote this: “She’s not going away. She’s the real deal. Keep your eye on her, friends.” In that race she received far more votes than you would have expected for a relative unknown, but since then she has become anything but. Kiyomi is everywhere, serving on the PFC, the school site council, the curriculum council, and various boards of organizations and charities. You may have seen her virtual meetups, her appearances on those fairly tame candidate forums, or walking around in your neighborhood dropping off yard signs or flyers. She is out loud and awesome and you can’t miss her.

I was delighted to see that these local elections were the first ones on my ballot, not relegated to the back to be forgotten. Don’t skip them. Make your vote count. After all, this is your town and these are your kids. Choose the leaders who will get us through this fresh hell and maybe back to normal.

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