To the editor:
I am writing to strongly support Elizabeth Baker for school board. As a psychotherapist with an expertise in LGBTQ youth, I had the opportunity to work with Elizabeth over the past two years as she spearheaded the passage of one of the most progressive Transgender Student policies in the nation. In June of 2016, we worked closely to write a best practices protocol to support our transgender and gender non-binary students in their right to live authentically. Elizabeth helped move the policy through the various stages of Board review and worked hard to garner the support of other Board Members. As a district we should be proud that there was no dissension or opposition.
In a political climate where the rights of transgender young people and adults are being quickly dismantled, the passage of this policy is a wonderful first step and strong statement from the district and BOE that we will support our trans and gender non-binary youth. Although there is much work to be done in terms of professional development, changing school cultures and increasing the community’s understanding of gender and gender identity, the passage of the policy is a solid step toward the ultimate goal of equity for all students in the district.
Through this process, I have come to know a few things about Elizabeth Baker: She is a person who gets things done. She is determined to address issues of inequity and bias, including institutional and systemic oppressions, and support students who have traditionally been marginalized because of their identities. She is deep, deep in the details and complexity of the challenges that our district faces (see her op-ed on Access and Equity in the Village Green) and approaches those problems not only through a progressive ideological lens of social justice but through a pragmatic, action-oriented approach. In the pursuit of building a district that can finally say we are serving ALL our children, I hope you will join me on November 7th in casting a vote for Elizabeth Baker.
Laura Booker, LCSW