Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 5, 2012

Check the record

Let me just tell you, getting this video to this state took forever, between ripping the DVDs (two of them!) and getting them processed, spliced down and uploaded, I thought I wouldn’t get it done before Election Day.  Yes, I finally have video of the December 2009 vote for the anti-bullying curriculum.

Here’s the thing, at the beginning of this election, Trish Spencer embraced the fact that she:

support[s] the education of anti-bullying for all (differently-abled/special needs, ethnicities, gender, LGBTQ, race, religion) to ensure a safe learning environment.

But at every turn when she had an opportunity to vote for Lesson 9, she was determined to vote against it.   I’ll point out that in public critiques of Trish Spencer’s record, no one has called Trish Spencer “anti-gay,” but it’s interesting that she and her supporters attribute clarifying and pointing out Trish Spencer’s record on voting against Lesson 9 as calling her “anti-gay.”   Before a detailed record of her votes and the minutes became public, Trish Spencer conveniently omitted that she voted “no” on continuing using Lesson 9 until the complete curriculum was established.

Now, Trish Spencer is claiming that she voted no in December 2009 because she felt as though continuing Lesson 9 until such a time when a complete curriculum was established would be “backsliding.”   I’ll point out that this argument is completely specious.   The idea that introducing children to the concept that LGBT families exist in Alameda can’t happen unless specific curriculum exists for all the “protected classes” is silly.  I think the frustration of some folks who have watched this whole process shake down comes from not understanding why retaining Lesson 9 in the interim was so objectionable to Trish Spencer that she felt the need to vote against it time and time again.

And, she still has not adequately explained why she voted against the book list in April 2010 which did exactly what she is claiming that she wants today: inclusively protecting all groups.   Because, as I mentioned in another post, her arguments today about why she voted against the book list is not supported by the public record of the public comments.

The thing about this whole business is, for folks out there that get upset about national politicians blatantly lying about what they said or did and then present it as “well it’s technically true” all the while their message infers something different than the actual reality, this whole airbrushing of Trish Spencer’s record is as troubling to me as those national political shenanigans.

Anyway, here’s the video, this is after the first motion and vote.   The first motion was made by Mike McMahon and everyone voted for this with the exception of Tracy Jensen.   While the rest of the Board was attempting to figure out what to do about the remainder of the recommendations from the Superintendent and whether the motion covered those recommendations, Trish Spencer felt as though they should “move on” and that the matter had been dispensed with.   She eventually voted against the motion made by Tracy Jensen after multiple restatements and clarifications of the scope of Tracy Jensen’s motion.   In uncharacteristic Trish Spencer style, for this motion, she absolutely did not want any discussion on the issue instead insisting that there was something untoward about multiple motions on a given agenda item.   Rather than clarify why she voted against Lesson 9 this time around, she simply voted no instead of giving the reason she is now giving.

And finally, here is video of the April 2010 meeting, which Trish Spencer has indicated that she voted against because members of “protected classes” expressed concern about how they and their children were depicted.   Reading that, one would assume that she was upset about books about people with disabilities and such, but the main thing that Trish Spencer honed in on was whether or not there were enough representations of “traditional” roles for boys and girls.   Such as one story about a little girl who likes fire trucks might wipe away all the representations of tea parties, dolls, and princesses that have inundated our culture and little girls might feel ashamed of liking those “traditional” girl pursuits.

Then she is concerned about a story of a princess who turns the prince saving the princess meme on its head because at the end the princess has the gall to call the prince a “bum.”   Clutch the pearls!   Of course she failed to mention that one, the book was written in 1980, so perhaps the language is not as “soft” as we would prefer it today for books meant to teach some lesson.   And two, that it was a response to the prince asking her to conform to societal “norms” that he felt she should conform to.

So in both instances, the major concern expressed by Trish Spencer was not about “protected classes” but rather ensuring that the presentation of two books didn’t interfere with traditional gender roles.   In the end, even though this book list was meant to do what Trish Spencer said that she wanted to do, represent all protected classes, she voted against it.

Video, apologies about the skipping and rendering problems, that’s how I got it, but the parts where Trish Spencer talks about the two books I mentioned above are pretty clean, starts around 18 minutes for the discussion referenced above.


  1. Gee Lauren- with all the issues facing this country before election day as well as all the issues facing Alameda, the State, and Alameda Unified School District, this seems like a tired subject to raise. After about your 5th effort on this subject, we get it. You don’t like Trish Herrera Spencer and her voting against the Sup’s raise, the move to the expensive new facilities, her support for Measure A, the fact she sent her own kids to Alameda schools, the endorsement of the teacher’s union, and her Latina background do not cancel it out for you. Yet the problem with your analysis is that ultimately, AUSD implemented the lessons with Spencer’s support. In politics it is difficult to be a one issue voter…As President Clinton stated. “that dog won’t hunt..”

    Comment by Commonsense — November 5, 2012 @ 6:29 am

  2. lesson 9 was not implemented with Spencers support. That is not true.

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 5, 2012 @ 8:53 am

  3. Sorry Commonsense, this dog hunts well. It goes to a fundamental belief structure that allies Spencer with a certain group that I would classify as extremely conservative right wing, and makes it troubling for me that the teachers union would look past that in their endorsement. It also makes me question the values of the other members of her slate. For her supporters, I can understand their desire that this go away, but for those of us still on the fence about some of the candidates(note, I am not on the fence about spencer) this is very important, and the silence from other members of her slate on this are also important.

    Comment by notadave — November 5, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  4. It’s Election Time

    Hit pieces just started hitting

    Bonta joined the Hunt also with his love story about Abel

    Comment by John — November 5, 2012 @ 9:00 am

  5. Don’t click on the links in #4 above… you may lose your breakfast.
    We received the “He got caught (but he was protected by his political partner)” hit piece on Saturday. I’m no fan of Elihu Harris, having lived in Oakland while he was the do-nothing mayor, *but* to link Abel Guillen directly to the no-bid contract scandal at Peralta seems a wee bit of a stretch. I have yet to find an online article that does so. Sure, Guillen was on the board at the time, but so were 6 other people. True, they should’ve shown Harris the door before his contract was up in 2010, but Harris would’ve sued the district had they done so. Many “corporate” boards operate in the same fashion, holding on to no-goodnik until they can quietly get rid of him.
    I found the flyer very distasteful, and so far I can’t find much online about the “California Alliance for Progress and Education” which funded it. I suppose we have Citizens United to thank. Can’t wait until the election is over, and sad for all the trees cut down to produce all these glossy flyers. Out of the two dozen or so received, we only got one that was printed on post-consumer paper.

    Comment by Kristen — November 5, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  6. Commonsense, this issue is too important to be tired. Is is people like you that hear only what they want to hear. People are so desperate to believe that Ms Spencer is the best candidate for all of Alameda’s children. You continue to believe that she supported Lesson 9 and Links to Literature, when in fact she didn’t. The video shows very clearly that she didn’t.

    The issue of whether or not our children can go to school each and every day without fear and with the knowledge that their teachers and classmates support them for who they are or the background they come from is paramount above whether or not the district put a fence around an unsafe building or gave the superintendent a 3% raise. Ms Spencer did not support a safe and inclusive environment for ALL children, only for some. For that reason she does not deserve another term on the school board.

    Comment by Karry Kelley — November 5, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  7. Commonsense, I find your post anything but that. This is a blog about local politics of which you comment frequently. Now, suddenly, Lauren should be ashamed of herself for not addressing the greater issues our country is facing. Like it or not, this topic is being discussed throughout the island and it is one that strikes the hearts of many of our citizenry.

    Then, as if to make one of the points addressed above, you’ve turned the conversation personal stating this is all about the fact that Lauren doesn’t like Trish. I have no idea whether she does or doesn’t. This has nothing do with whether Member Spencer is “liked” or not it’s about whether her actions on the dais support renditions many, including the candidate, have described.

    Each voter will have to make that decision for themselves, my votes will be going for candidates who will work collectively on solutions to the very serious problems our district may face. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you or most of the readers that I will be voting for Mooney, Tam and Robles-Wong.

    I will follow one of your leads about addressing larger issues and ask for a yes vote on Proposition 30. Failure will devastatingly impact K-12 and community colleges up and this state in addition to those right her in Alameda.

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — November 5, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  8. If the reason you vote for a School Board candidate revolves around that candidate’s perceived position on gay issues, I seriously question your fitness to be a parent. Elevating this issue above all others is absurd. It’s also an insult to anyone & everyone who was bullied K-12 for any reason OTHER than being gay [me included].

    Comment by vigi — November 5, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  9. For me, the distortion by Trish Spencer on Trish Spencer’s record speaks to her integrity as a candidate and a School Board member. Had Ms. Spencer not attempted to change history on her record, this would have been a blip on most people’s radars.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 5, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  10. Vigi, Spencers problem is that she is willing to protect all people who are bullied unless their Gay. You may not care about something like that but a lot of us do.

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 5, 2012 @ 10:42 am

  11. Lesson 9 was not the only issue were Spencer showed a lack of integrity. She support funding for the pools (Measure C) then flipped and changed her position to oppose funding. She has as much accountability for her position as Mitt Romney. Both who do not deserve our vote.

    Comment by BarbaraK — November 5, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  12. #9 Couldn’t agree more. The work for equality among the protected classes continues to be implemented regardless of Spencer. Her distortions of the truth however are disgraceful and the AEA should be ashamed for their backing of her, as should those running with her on the AEA slate. I pray the folks in our town will vote her out but should she find her way back onto the BOE, at a minimum, Spencer needs to know I see right through her and this gay dad is happy to be supported by members of the community, AUSD staff and BOE members who know how to move beyond her.
    #11 And yes, the list goes on and on.

    Comment by Sean Cahill — November 5, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  13. Thank you all for the clarifications , I have met trish Spencer ,and she is far from what some are trying to portray her She stood against the adminstration , supported the teachers , very convenientely forgoten , she got 5 votes here .

    Comment by mijoka — November 5, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  14. I don’t know how you can say Ms. Spencer supported the teachers when she campaigned against Measure E — which was narrowly defeated and led to 8 furlough days for the teachers. She also refused to endorse Measure A and voted against the Master Plan. Her record simply does not support the notion that she has supported the teachers.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — November 5, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  15. Lauren,

    Why didn’t you “Check the Record” of the November 7th, 2011 School Board meeting.

    It looked like the Teachers and AEA Morphed into Jerry Springer guests. If it wasn’t so sad and pathetic it was actually very funny. Talk about just lowering the bar on education and civility.

    You can catch it on repeat shows on Education Channel. I think its becoming a Cult film.

    Headline Stories from Alameda Unified Lampoon

    Measure A Benefits Students.

    Schools To Upgrade Pools To Slip N Slides

    Schools Triple Music Budget by Buying CD for one Class

    Students To Celebrate Getting 5 Cents of Every Dollar from Measure A

    Students Celebrate by Shown Pictures of What New Sports Equipment Looks like

    Teachers Collaborate on Top Five Swear Words To use in front of Students

    Teachers Hold Bake Sale to Pay For New Racial Slur Posters

    AEA Collaborated with Teachers on Best Places to Stash Drugs and Booze on Field Trips

    AEA holds Seminar for Teachers on Top 5 Ways to abuse handicapped Students

    AEA To Demand more Training for Teachers on Hide a Go Seek Methods for 1st Grade Teachers

    Water Polo Practices To Be Held at Crown State Beach on High Tide Only
    (Check Your Tide and Current Times on Our New Website)

    Baseball Team gets New Baseball
    ( Not Really they found one on Roof and will pretend)

    AEA donates 500.00 for Homeless Students School Supplies For Year

    ( Teachers Considering asking for that .1/2 cent back per day in new Contract)

    A Chinese man was reportedly killed last week when a woman squeezed his testicles until he collapsed during a fight over a parking space.

    ( Alameda United Lampoon has learned This woman has been Hired by AEA to negotiate the New Teachers Contract)

    Does it really matter who they recommend. I know it’s all about the Kids.

    Comment by John — November 5, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  16. John !
    I have to give it to you great post
    By the way it has never been and will never about the kid no matter which side you look at !
    I tend to lean more toward the teachers as the AUSD does not know how to manage our finances
    Can we hire that Chinese woman to talk the next time either the City of the School district propose another wastefull tax.

    Comment by mijoka — November 6, 2012 @ 12:38 am

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