Dear Editor – Yes on Measure E: I See You

Dear Editor, 

I am in full support of Measure E, the school bond on the March 5 ballot. I volunteer for the Yes on E Committee, canvassing Culver City neighborhoods and talking to voters. Those interactions have been informative and heartening, a majority of the people I speak to agree that our schools are in desperate need of funding. Besides immediate issues such as flooding, broken elevators, and backed up pipes, our schools need a commitment to the future, a commitment that aligns with the prosperity we are privileged to have in Culver City. I believe Measure E is a tool for much needed progress, and I also believe that CCUSD and committed stakeholders will work together to make sure the funds are spent effectively.

I’m sure most of the readers have heard arguments both for and against the measure by now. In my door-to-door canvassing, I listened to voters and had exceptionally good conversations about the opportunities and challenges Measure E brings. Each time I canvass, I experience firsthand the thoughtfulness of Culver City voters, no matter where they stand on this particular issue. My experience “in the field” gives me hope that our community can rally around the bond and put our money where our mouths are. The buildings, the grounds, and the kids need it.

I also spent time on Facebook pages that discuss the issue. I see the arguments against Measure E, but those arguments are often steeped in misinformation, disinformation, or outright lies. No, I’m not paid to canvass, I do it on my own time and dime, out of my support for the bond. No, the Yes on Measure E Committee is not selling bids by contractors and architects. Any company who will bid on any work in CCUSD must go through a vetting and bid process that the Yes on E Committee has no say in. Yes, the Yes on E Campaign has grassroots donors, I know several parents who have contributed. Yes, the Campaign is receiving donations legally, and unless the detractors complained this voraciously about other political donations (i.e. developers contributing to City Council candidates), they are cherry picking their outrage. Yes, there will be an Oversight Committee (mandated by the State), and more importantly, Advisory Committees at each school to prioritize and advise the Board on the best uses for the funds. Yes, we should engage with the School Board and hold them accountable, but I’m not willing to say no to a bond because of my dislike for any individual Board member. The bond is too big of an opportunity. And there’s an election in November where you can vote to make changes to the Board.

When I engage in online discussion with Measure E opponents, several told me I must not be paying attention, either because I don’t agree with their position, or because I challenge the veracity of their claims. I’m paying attention: to both the substance of the issues, and also to the tone and tenor of their discourse. I wonder how voters respond to the often negative messaging coming from the No on E group. It’s certainly a huge turn off for me.

I’m deep into college basketball season, and a phrase coaches say keeps coming back to me: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Culver City, please don’t miss this shot. Our schools, and our kids, need you.

Thank you very much!
Meta Valentic

The Actors' Gang