Not for any one reason should Mr. Vargas' name not have been chosen, but for a confluence of reasons, Mr. Vargas' name is not the best choice for the new school at Slater for the reasons stated by trustee Coladonato. Primarily, Sunnyvale already has a school named Vargas Elementary only a mile from Slater. Secondarily, PAUSD shows naming schools after any person can be problematic as the reputation of any person can change, but this is even more the case for a such a young person (who I hope keeps doing amazing things).
Last, it is neither racist nor unprogressive to believe the naming of a neighborhood school should strive to be as non-political and safe as possible. That sounds boring, but it's the prudent approach to such a permanent fixture of a diverse community.
If the board wants to honor Mr. Vargas' work, fund middle school journalism programs or organize early college counseling and scholarships for undocumented Mountain View Whisman district students. Research shows that even a small college fund early in children's lives can change their trajectory.
Any of the above do more for students. A change in school name feels good to most Mountain View adults, but divides a minority of the city — whose voice still matters — all the while doing little to advance of the needs of district students. The other finalists, Grace Hopper and Barack Obama or former Slater principal Maria Loya, are all more pragmatic choices.
Space Park Way
Your right to truth
Our democracy has been under attack by paid signature gatherers (up to $40 per signature) lying about the landlords' measure. Voters have alternately been told that mobile home dwellers will be covered by this measure; it will extend rent control because Measure V is expiring; it will strengthen rent control; and other false statements.
If people have signed and now realize that was a mistake, they can sign a withdrawal form, removing their signature. Go to mvtenantscoalition.org for the form and/or ask someone to bring a form to sign and take it in to the city clerk. Exercise your right to the truth.
I like the general idea of the "top-two" law, but I think it needs to be modified. I don't think of the 'top-two' law as an open primary law, i.e., a method of weeding out candidates of minor parties, as well as less popular candidates of the two major parties. Instead, I think of it as the main election, where the November election is a runoff when no one candidate gets 50 percent or more of the vote. (In this sense, the timing of the top-two vote might need to be reconsidered.)
This reflects my general belief that political parties have seen their day and are no longer needed; that candidates need not run as representatives of groups with known positions on a wide range of issues, but on their own positions on those issues.
That said, I think that when a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote (as in non-partisan elections such as sheriff), there is no need for a runoff in November. Also, when the top two candidates do not have 50 percent of the vote, I think the runoff should be among as many candidates as needed to get to the top 50 percent of the vote, even if that is the top three or (gulp) more. I realize this messy situation could result in a November election where the top candidate does not have more than 50 percent of the vote, thus necessitating another runoff. So be it.
This year, several candidates will have more than 50 percent of the vote, but still have to face a vote again in November for no good reason. In the race for lieutenant governor, the top two candidates will have less than 50 percent of the vote, thus eliminating a viable candidate from the November election.
This story contains 740 words.
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