Twin Rivers school board candidate’s utilize of ‘educator’ faces challenge

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 2:26 PM

Candidates love to utilize the “educator” designation because it polls well, said Kerri Asbury, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County.

Twin Rivers school board candidate’s utilize of ‘educator’ faces challenge

The Democratic Party of Sacramento County will get the county elections dept to Ct Friday to remove “educator” as the occupation listed on the June ballot for Twin Rivers Unified board candidate Michelle Deleon.

Candidates love to utilize the “educator” designation because it polls well, said Kerri Asbury, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County. “They attempt to discover a way to utilize that whether they're an educator or not.”

The organization contends that Deleon shouldn't be able to utilize the duration educator because she isn’t paid for her volunteer work at the district and none of the positions qualify her as an educator.

Her opponent, Basim Elkarra, thirty-six, is endorsed by the county Democratic Party for the open Area five seat on the school board.

Deleon, forty-six, said she's using the title “educator” because she leads workshops for parents and students offering information about school district programs, among other things. She's also using the designation “parent leader.”

“I expected going into this there would kind of be a battle and I'd have to defend myself a lot,” Deleon said of her decision to running against Elkarra. “I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy battle.”

She was a substitute instructor for thirty days in one thousand nine hundred ninety-ninth and held an emergency permit to learn from August two thousand to September two thousand one, according to the CA Commission on Instructor Credentialing, though she said she's not relying on that past work to justify her current ballot title.

County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine says candidates are allowed to utilize terms such as educator to characterize their occupation, even if it's for volunteer work.

“She should be able to utilize the duration as her occupation even if she doesn’t earn income for the work as long as she spends a major quantity of time in that capacity,” LaVine said. “We accepted that ballot designation.”

The county Democratic Party chose to challenge Deleon’s designation in court, in portion because it's endorsing Elkarra. “This has a significant impact on the campaign,” Asbury said of the educator designation.

The county Democratic Party challenged five candidates’ occupations on the June ballot, not all for using “educator,” Asbury said. The elections dept accepted three of the challenges and changed the occupations of those candidates, but officials wouldn't modify the occupations listed for Deleon and another candidate.

Asbury said elections executive emailed her to declare they'd contacted Deleon and that she's choosing to utilize educator; that prompted the county Democratic Party to pursue its lawsuit.

“I’m running for Central Committee,” Asbury said. “I don’t obtain to choose. … I don’t obtain to utilize Fairy Godmother.”

Asbury is a instructor in the Twin Rivers Unified district and a member of Twin Rivers United Educators.

The county Democratic Party has been challenging more designations over the past two years, Asbury said. “It’s something we're stepping up,” she said. “One of the things we pushed for is being more transparent and ethical.”

She said the party has challenged both Republicans and Democrats. “We don’t wish lying Democrats,” she said. “We are going to keep people accountable.”

The county Democratic Party supported Elkarra, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter in Sacramento, in a special election latest year. That contest occurred after the Democratic grouping collected signatures to force an election after the school board appointed charter school operator Sonja Cameron to fill the unoccupied seat.

Cameron won the election over Elkarra. The contentious race included an that attempted to link Elkarra, a Palestinian American, to Muslim terrorists. Local elected executive and Cameron denounced the flier.

Elkarra called himself an educator on the ballot in that race, as well as a parent and nonprofit executive director. He omitted his “educator” title this year but defended his previous use.

“I am an educator,” he said Thursday. “Today I gave four lectures at a high school. I speak to and train law enforcement. It’s portion of my job.”

Elkarra said he gives about forty lectures a year on civil rights, school bullying and current affairs as portion of his job.

Asked about Elkarra’s utilize of “educator” as his occupation latest year, Asbury said: “A lot of people utilize it and attempt to utilize it when they can. He's an educator and he does civil rights in the community.”

Asbury suggested that Deleon called herself “an educator because she was president for the PTA.”

She said she wants to look uniformity in the ballot designation statewide. “It’s a small personal for me because I’m a teacher,” she said. “You obtain frustrated because we obtain slammed for being teachers and for our union, and we've everyone and their brother becoming educators when it’s time to running for office.”

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