Opinion: Let Your Voice Be Heard

FOR THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Yating Campbell

Maps are fun when you are looking to see where you want to go on vacation. Maps can be less fun when you look at data and attempt to figure out the effects of different scenarios which may affect our kids.

Does that mean we should give up? No! The only way to make sure our voice is heard, loud and clear, is to participate in the process of drawing the maps.

I’ve been looking at the proposed Natomas Unified School District trustee maps and reading the information provided. Trying to do that while juggling helping with homework, making dinner, or walking the dog is not easy.

It’s tempting to give up. But we must continue to be part of the process because while I’m not an expert on drawing maps, I am definitely a concerned parent and community member.

Why are the Natomas Unified School District maps important? They symbolize the most American and fundamental concept this country was built on – representation of the people through elections.

Trustees are voted in to represent Natomas families and to set districtwide policy. The maps will designate how communities vote for their next school board trustee – the person who sets policy for our schools and provides direction on our kids’ learning.

The maps the district shared with the community are a starting point for discussions and can change.

I’m not an artist, but I attempted to draw a map that has an even distribution of schools in each area, so it’s manageable for a trustee to be involved with the community where they live.

I considered ways to keep neighborhoods together around natural boundary lines. I looked to see if minority groups had the opportunity to be heard. I did my best to consider several scenarios that would benefit our kids, families, neighbors, and community.

I’m not an expert, so I probably missed some things, but the important thing is that I participated. I am proud to be part of the discussion to help keep Natomas schools on the right track.

The trustees shouldn’t be making this vitally important decision in a vacuum. WE are the ones they are elected to represent; WE are the ones that need to raise our voices to tell them our concerns, preferences, criteria, and priorities, so WE are the ones choosing who WE want to represent US.

Take a look at the maps and participate in the process! Raise concerns, educate yourselves, and propose solutions. You can color outside the proposed lines to draw your map so you can covey your priorities.

Our kids, families, and communities are our future. We should give Natomas Unified School District’s map-drawing process the attention it needs.

Natomas Unified School District has fast-forwarded and shortened the timeline for public comments, so make sure you get your comments in at or before the meeting on Nov. 8. Let your voice be heard!

To learn more, visit the Natomas Unified School District map webpage at bit.ly/NUSDmaps.

Yating Campbell is the mother of two children who attend an International  Baccalaureate school in the Natomas Unified School District. She is an active member of her Parent Teacher Association and has lived in Natomas for 15 years. She is a leader for local Girl Scout, Boy Scout and Cub Scout units and was a long-time Board Member on the Serenade Homeowner’s Association. Campbell was named a Natomas Woman of Note in 2019 by N Magazine and is a member of the the inaugural Sacramento County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

Map submitted by author Yating Campbell

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