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ABCUSD Measure BB Campaign Kick-Off Event Draws Hundreds of Supporters

Maynard Law, chairman of the Yes on Measure BB campaign committee, speaks to supporters at the kick-off event. Photo by Lou Delgado.

 

BY SANDRA MOLINA

ARTESIA  — It was standing room only as enthusiastic supporters of Measure BB, a $258 million safe schools bond slated for the Nov. 6 ballot, gathered Thursday at the Artesia DES Halls’ Portuguese Hall.

Members of the Yes on Measure BB for Safe and Modern Schools in ABC campaign committee welcomed ABC Unified School District employees, students, parents and interested members of the surrounding community to rally for a successful campaign.

“You all are the hope for our kids and grandkids, and you being here shows you are passionate about doing right by them, and how important it is to get behind the passage of this bond,” said Maynard Law, ABCUSD board member and chairman of the campaign committee.

The bond will finance upgrades to campus safety and security, technology, and 21st century learning environments.

“We are one of the top districts in the nation, with 21,000 K through 12 students and another 10,000 adult students, with unbelievable academics,” he said. “Now, we need to upgrade our facilities.”

The bond would fund the improvements encompassed in the district’s Facilities Master Plan, including safety and security, technology, state-of-the-art improvements; parity and sustainability issues.

Each school would receive from about $4.5 and $6.5 million to pay for the upgrades.

Law emphasized the bond money would be strictly monitored.

“Not one dollar will will go to pay for teachers’ salaries of the district’s operating expenses,” he said.

ABCUSD Superintendent Mary Sieu called Measure BB a bold plan and a critical point in the district’s history.

Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr., she said “this is not the time for the status quo, but  a time to make history.”

Recent Cerritos High School graduate, Matthew Scammahorn, spoke in support of Measure BB, as did a group of current Artesia High School students.

They said that safety, a 21st Century learning experience, upgrading classrooms and making campuses greener were important.

“As a first-time voter, I am enthusiastic about voting for this bond,” said Scammahorn, who is s student at UC San Diego.

The improvements did not happen overnight, as Brad Beach, chairman of the Facilities Master Plan committee, said.

It was a process that took more than a year to identify the needs for each campus.

“We cut about $400 million worth of improvements to get down to the most pressing improvements facing the district,” Beach said. “We trimmed the fat.”

As a father of two young daughters — one of whom is an ABCUSD student and the other a future one — he supports the bond, especially the upgrades pertaining to safety.

Part of the event also included volunteer sign-ups for phone banking and walking precincts.

Some elected officials in attendance included:

  • Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia
  • Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido
  • Cerritos Councilman Frank Yokoyama
  • Artesia Councilmen Ali Taj, Victor Manalo, and Miguel Canales
  • ABCUSD Board President Soo Yoo

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