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School Board District 3 Campaign Mailer Sparks Contention

Published on Monday, October 17, 2022 | 6:48 am

A mailer sent by Pasadena School Board District 3 candidate Pat Amsbry on Wednesday drew harsh responses from his opponent, incumbent Michelle Richardson Bailey, and her supporters over the weekend.

“On October 13, voters across PUSD school board, District 3 received a divisive and disingenuous political mailer from Pat Amsbry attacking current PUSD school board Vice President Michelle Richardson Bailey,” Bailey said in her response. “The tone-deaf mailer relies on racist undertones and blatant misrepresentations to divide a community in desperate need of unity and experienced leadership.”

In the mailer, Amsbry said that Bailey is an incumbent and claims she is part of the status quo, out of touch, refuses to address gun safety and is a rubber stamp for Superintendent Brian McDonald’s salary.

Responding to Bailey, Amsbry told Pasadena Now on Sunday that “giving voters the tools to make an informed decision is democracy, not divisive.”

View the flyer behind the controversy by clicking here

Bailey took exception to a photo used by Amsbry that places her against a dark grey background. 

Bailey said Amsbry used an old unflattering photo of her. Bailey said the photo comes across as a mugshot.

“Based on the optics in the mailer, and the fact that the photo of me has been altered from its original state to give the imagery of a mug shot, represents the opposite of everything I’ve been working to address within the culture of PUSD when it comes to children of color,” Bailey said. “It lacks cultural sensitivity.”

Late last week, Bailey called on Amsbry to suspend his campaign.

In comments Sunday, Amsbry said he has “no intention to withdraw.”

“I’m proud to say that our grassroots campaign has broad-based support from across District 3,” Amsbry said.

Bailey is the current Vice-President of the PUSD School Board and has worked in public education for over 20 years. She and her three children are products of PUSD schools, and she currently has a grandchild attending school in PUSD

She is the only African-American on the board and represents a district she said is 73.9% Latinx and African American. 

Amsbry is white and newcomer to School Board politics.

He is a product of public schools from kindergarten through college. He is an entrepreneur and a Board member of several Pasadena-based organizations. His children attended private school in Pasadena.

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