United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) has endorsed Jennifer Hall Lee, incumbent Patrick Cahalan, and Tina Wu Fredericks for seats on the Pasadena Board of Education.
Teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, speech-language pathologists, and psychologists in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) voted to endorse Lee for School Board District 2, Cahalan (who is currently serving as board president) for District 4, and Wu Fredericks for District 6.
Lee is running against Wayne Hammack and Mike Crowley. Cahalan is squaring off against Scott Harden, and Wu Fredericks is facing Milena Albert, Priscilla Hernandez and Crystal Czubernat.
The UTP Political Action Interview Panel, consisting of PUSD teachers, invited all of the candidates to participate in the interview process in August. The recommendations were approved by the UTP Political Action Committee, the UTP Executive Board, and the UTP Representative Council in August.
The three candidates support Proposition 15, also known as the Schools and Communities First Initiative. According to supporters and ballot text, Proposition 15 would amend the state constitution to adjust Proposition 13 of 1978 to allow commercial property held by owners with more than $3 million in holdings to be taxed at fair market value, and not the price paid at the time of purchase, according to the ballot measure. If approved, the proposition would raise between $8.5 billion and $12 billion for public schools and other public services.
Individual homeowners and business owners with less than $3 million in holdings will still fall under protections provided by Proposition 13. However, big corporations will have to pay higher property taxes in light of their continuously assessed values.
In District 2, Lee, who lists herself as a writer/filmmaker and documentarian, faces attorney Wayne Hammack, and Mike Crowley, a school site council member.
Facing Cahalan in District 4 is Scott Harden, a change management strategist.
In District 6, Wu Fredericks, a parent and a computer engineer, is up against Milena Albert, a parent and a municipal administrator, Priscilla Hernandez, a teacher and nonprofit director, and Crystal Czubernat, a Telehealth senior executive.
“The candidates (Lee, Cahalan, and Wu Fredericks) support Proposition 15 — Schools and Communities First; broadcasting to the public and community about the exceptional education experiences at our schools; being exemplary stewards of sustainable budgets; promoting student academic success; social justice and for continuous parent and community engagement,” union officials said in a prepared statement.