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Another Burbank School Board candidate kicks off campaign

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Jesse Tangkhpanya candidate for Burbank School Board

Labor relations representative, Jesse Tangkhpanya, is not well known around Burbank, but he’s taking action to try to quickly change that. Media City Groove was the first to report that Tangkhpanya pulled nomination papers last week for the Burbank School Board. Three seats on that board will be on the February 24, 2015 Burbank Primary Election mail-in ballot.

Tangkhpanya sent out a letter  to the local media announcing his candidacy earlier this week. Tangkhpanya, who has lived in Burbank only since early 2012, doesn’t have the kind of deep roots in the community of some of the other candidates. However, in his letter, he offered something he thinks is just as important: “My experience in District costing and budgeting has prepared me to meticulously scour through general funds and ask the tough questions needed by our next leaders. If elected, I will continue the good work of the current Board by holding District officials accountable on budget projections, and I will ensure that the Board’s role as a “check” on the District is safeguarded; thereby protecting the balance of powers.”

Also, Tangkhpanya thinks the BUSD should have some specific goals such as: “Focusing our attention on raising academic expectations, providing resources to continue closing the achievement gap, and developing career pathways to success in collaboration with our local colleges and businesses are some of the things I envision for our children.” You can read Tangkhpanya’s complete letter on Myburbank or the Burbank Leader site.

In an email exchange with me, Tangkhpanya stressed his “love” for Burbank, his “adopted home,” and desire to use some of his career experience to help our schools. He says he has “…  five years of boots on the ground  (literally speaking) experience in public education. When I was at Education Workers Local 99 I had over 100 school sites that I went to daily – 1 school visit a day almost everyday.”

Tangkhpanya currently works for the California School Employees Association.

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2 Responses to Another Burbank School Board candidate kicks off campaign

  1. iLuvBurbank Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    FYI: Jesse Tangkhpanya formerly worked for a SEIU local attached to LAUSD as a labor organizer for several years. He now works (last 2yrs) for CSEA, a Union that represents school classified employees, as a Labor Relations Representative in several school districts (not Burbank). Not somebody this BUSD Parent would be interested to see win a seat on the Board. Hard to believe he could be impartial in labor negotiations when his day job is working for the union.

  2. Jesse Tangkhpanya Friday, November 14, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Yes, I would be an effective Board Member at the district and I’d be able to work with all stakeholders.

    First, to the issue of my ability to be impartial. If a board member was a police officer, it would be inappropriate of one to assert that that person would not be a proper fiduciary of the public good for any non-campus security personnel. In other words, asserting that the police officer by day yet board member by night is a “conflict of interest” and that he would always put “his people” ahead by pumping funds into campus security only is a flawed and subjective argument. Professionally, I do work for CSEA. I believe that is a positive attribute because I will be uniquely positioned to be fully aware of the institutional challenges that all school districts face from campus safety, funding issues, parent engagement and the overall quality of education. That is a wealth of knowledge and experience which I would bring to the table as a Board Member.

    People who know me know that I am fair, competent and prudent in judgement. I am not a bomb thrower, quick tempered or quick to judge. I’m also not a career politician. I’m someone who has put in my dues, kept a low profile, and worked as hard as possible for public education without any chips on my shoulder. I am known for seeking compromise and finding common ground. That’s why I have the endorsement of Garvey Unified School Board Member Henry Lo and the only two kids (in all of BUSD) who were so exceptional last year that they got free rides to Harvard – Casey Moore and Johnnie Han.

    Secondly, I assure you and other readers that If I am elected as a Board Member, it will be due largely to me and my campaign’s ability to effectively organize and mobilize a broad coalition that will be reflective of this community. Consequently, I would govern the school district from that starting point and always keep in mind that ultimately we put the interests of students first and foremost above all other considerations.

    Finally, I would like to close by saying that I am running because this is an important time for our schools in California and we need representatives whose values reflects the views and ideas of our community not only in the present but for the future as well. Burbank Unified, like many communities, are experiencing incredible changes and it is wonderful because it speaks to the power of places like those in our Golden State which has had a rich history of bringing people from over the United States and the world to seek greater opportunities. Education is the cornerstone of every neighborhood. Education is the gateway to success. Certainly for my life, coming to this country with my family as refugees, I stand before you as a testament to the transformative power of a good quality education. As someone who has established roots in this community, I want to see our schools as models of learning for newcomers, those have been here for generations and to the community at-large. I look forward to the conversation about our community schools through the course of the campaign.

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