Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 16, 2022

Reframe refrain

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

There are some people that have no problem existing in their shamelessness. Donald Trump for one. More locally, Trish Spencer. She has attempted over the years to reframe her absolute opposition to Lesson 9, a curriculum which was designed in response to LGBTQ+ folks in schools saying “hey, please let people know we exist and that people shouldn’t treat us poorly because of that.” Look even with our increasingly more aware world in the year 2022 apparently there has been a bit of an issue with some new students as young as 6th grade at Encinal making references to LGBTQ+ people in a derogatory way, so we have come a long way but there are miles and miles to go.

Remember that even the Associated Press characterized Trish Spencer as the member who was opposed to Lesson 9, “This has torn apart our community,” said school trustee Trish Herrera Spencer, the board member most opposed to the gay curriculum and who opposed adding the supplemental books. She said the board’s latest action did not take into consideration “the strong beliefs” of all in the community. [emphasis added]

When the District later attempted to expand the curriculum to include more “protected classes” Trish Spencer changed her mind on what it was that she wanted:

What I am anxiously looking forward to is which Trish Herrera Spencer will be appearing for this particular School Board meeting.   Will it be the Trish Spencer from early August that wanted to suspend teaching of all anti-bullying materials until such time as a curriculum is developed that “goes to reducing bullying against all of our students and enumerating the six protected classes: religion, gender, LGBT, disability, race, ethnicity, and…um…uh…I’m not sure if I left one out…disability, and also disability. ”   Or will it be the Trish Spencer from the last School Board meeting who believed that a generic, off-the-rack anti-bullying curriculum would be the best bet for addressing all the protected classes.    My guess is that we’ll see a continuation of last meeting’s Trish Spencer, but then again maybe we’ll see an entirely different iteration of Trish Spencer with a completely different take on the curriculum.

So it is with great surprise that I read Trish Spencer’s response to the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus and reframed her support/lack of support/opposition to Lesson 9 all those years ago:

I’ll note that is absolute horseshit and she supported the folks who then attempted to recall the only Asian American School Board member (Niel Tam) who did support Lesson 9 and who did support the expanded curriculum and who did support the expanded supplemental booklist, all which Trish Spencer did not. Even if Trish Spencer did REALLY want to support AAPI students and families from bullying nothing would have precluded her from voting to adopt Lesson 9 AND broaden the anti-bullying curriculum. It’s not an either/or situation, it’s a “why not both?” which is the position that all the other School Board members took. We can do both; we can acknowledge and protect LGBTQ+ families and students now and then broaden the scope to acknowledge all other protected classes. That Trish Spencer is reframing this as zero sum and that she tanked Lesson 9 for AAPI students is foul.

And before we allow Trish Spencer to fully reframe how those meetings went down, I did a review of the meetings minutes at that time and pulled out the comments from people who opposed Lesson 9 and here’s a sampling of it:

Her final vote on the expanded curriculum and the expanded curriculum book list was a no. And just in case you buy into her reframing of the events in 2009-2010 she voted no on the book list, not because it didn’t do a sufficient job of repping the AAPI community which she’s trying to sell to the APA Dem Caucus but because in 2010 this is what her objections to the book list comprised of:

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.

Do not allow her to change the narrative about why she voted against Lesson 9, the expanded curriculum, and the expanded curriculum booklist. It was always framed around the LGBTQ+ portion of the curriculum and gender norms and her objection to those topics being brought up in our classrooms.


  1. Trish Spencer taking a page right from the MAGA playbook: gaslight, obstruct, and rewrite the narrative to make her the good guy. What else is new.

    Comment by Make Alameda Great Again — September 16, 2022 @ 7:56 am

  2. Ugghh …. Spencer lies again.
    We should not be, but shocked by the complete revision of history.

    Indeed she def supported the recall of Neil (and me).
    She did everything she could to stop/stall the lesson 9 materials, materials our teachers asked for …
    It was all ‘what about … ‘ and the repeated answers from our teachers was ‘we have those materials, but not materials for discussing LGBTQ+ … ‘

    I am sure she will attempt to rewrite other facts too …

    Comment by Ron Mooney — September 16, 2022 @ 8:23 am

  3. Again and again, thank you, Lauren.

    Comment by Sleepy+Moe — September 16, 2022 @ 8:32 am

  4. Vintage Trish. Demand a slew of changes, get what you asked for, vote against it anyway and then take credit for it later. Truly shameless.

    Comment by cw — September 16, 2022 @ 9:39 am

  5. TRISH twisting the facts to suit her political agenda is DISGUSTING. I am sure the APA Dem Caucus can see through her utter bullshit. These questionnaires are illuminating. Candidates don’t think we read them… but clearly we do. I had a meeting with Trish in 2017. During which, she proudly stated she attended the Trump inauguration. We asked why did she go? She said mayors attend these events no matter who is elected to show “American Unity.” But now she is twisting this too – saying she was there for a conference of Mayors only… duh, and then you went to the sad event on the mall. Every sign for Trish in this town I see makes we realize more and more that the underbelly of this town really is not welcoming for those of us who are in the margins of society

    Comment by In The Margins — September 16, 2022 @ 11:36 am

    • That is more BS from Trish Spencer. She sought out her inauguration ticket from Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who refused to go out of respect for her constituents. It’s not a requirement for mayors to attend. Just more MAGA revisionism. You can hear from her sycophants who are already desperately trying to spin this – “they were just giving away tons of tickets,” “everyone was there,” “Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama were there,” “She didn’t go, and if she did, so what?” Trish is a MAGA, and it’s time Alamedans recognize this.

      Comment by Trash4u — September 16, 2022 @ 11:52 am

    • For the record, the APA Dem Caucus endorsed Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft for mayor in 2018. To see 2022 questionnaire responses, go to:

      Comment by Serena T Chen — September 16, 2022 @ 12:53 pm

  6. Yawn…still on Lesson Nine?

    Now school districts encourage and support grade school kids determining what body part to reshape or amputate along with a heavy dose of drugs to change their natural body chemistry, all while hiding it from their parents. Drag Queen story hour has replaced Dr. Seuss, and the chief child trafficker in the world is the guy who claims our wide open Southern border is “secure.”

    You should keep up.

    Comment by Brave New World — September 16, 2022 @ 12:01 pm

    • And here is the underbelly feeling embolden by MAGArs to spout actual transphobic HATE – Then again, it is probably just Brian Kennedy…

      Comment by In The Margins — September 16, 2022 @ 12:33 pm

    • As long as Trish Spencer brings up Lesson 9 and tries to twist her role in it, I’ll be there to correct the record.

      I know it’s hard to pull yourself away from your Q drops to focus on local stuff.

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 16, 2022 @ 12:33 pm

  7. Trish was literally given her talking points and extensive support and coaching from the Pacific Justice Institute, which is classified as an anti LGBTQ+ hate group by the southern poverty law center. Her subsequent attacks on the homeless, low-income workers and renters, is in line with PJI doctrine.

    Comment by notadave — September 16, 2022 @ 12:38 pm

  8. I have taken several long walks through central Alameda and the Gold Coast this week, and I have seen literally DOZENS of Trish signs. I’ll bet I passed at least 50 in the area between Park & Webster. Meanwhile, I spied not a single sign for Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft anywhere. My fear is that this is going to turn into 2014 all over again, when Marie Gilmore ran a lackluster campaign (admittedly, this may have been due to some family issues) while Trish was out there making the rounds. She is constantly popping up on Nextdoor greeting people who say they’re new in town. I hate thinking that she’ll be back in the mayor’s office again, but obviously a lot of people love her tactics of saying no to everything, and (mistakenly) think she’ll actually be able to stop new developments and cut traffic. Ugh.

    Comment by trow125 — September 16, 2022 @ 10:43 pm

    • Ashcraft just got her signs yesterday. Trish has a small cult that’s frantically dropping off signs for her every day. Lawn signs don’t persuade voters. Look at the school board in 2020. Megan Sweet did not have a single lawn sign, and beat out the two Bonta-backed candidates with their very expensive multicolored lawn signs. The Crab Lady and their ginormous “Yes on B” billboards couldn’t beat the wellness center. This will be a high turnout election because of progressives being so mad about what’s happening to women’s rights and Trump, I’m sure they will have no problem beating back our local MAGA. The math doesn’t make sense for Trish, she couldn’t beat Ashcraft last time even with Matarrese siphoning off possible Ashcraft voters.

      Comment by Observer — September 17, 2022 @ 8:41 am

    • The biggest determinant for the Mayor race will be voter turnout. In 2014, Jerry Brown had no opposition and Democrats did not go to polls. As a result, the 50% voter turnout hurt Marie Gilmore who lost by 120 votes. In 2018, voter turnout was 74% with Marilyn winning by 1425 votes.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — September 17, 2022 @ 2:11 pm

  9. I would love to know the % of Trish signs are on multifamily sites, placed by a landlord. And how many of those are the same landlord. Never forget: signs don’t vote, and the renters in this town know exactly who and what Trish Spencer is.

    Comment by I mean housing provider — September 17, 2022 @ 3:15 pm

  10. Hi, Trish supporter here! There are thousands of us on the island. We are not MAGA people, And I think that Lauren’s post here is crazy misleading.

    Trish’s opposition to Lesson 9 was because it attempted to supplement anti-bullying curriculum with SPECIAL EXTRA CURRICULUM on anti-LGBTQ bullying. I personally believe that is bullshit – antibullying is fine. Anti-bullying *specifically* for LGBTQ (or Jews, or African Americans, or any specific group) is excessive and highly unnecessary.

    Honestly folks – when you characterize people who disagree with you as bigoted MAGA lovers, you look like idiots. Stop it.

    Comment by Big Johnson — September 19, 2022 @ 4:52 pm

    • She voted against the expanded curriculum and the booklist. Please explain that discrepancy away.

      Also, you’re wrong, Lesson 9 was not supplanting anything. It was creating something that never existed.

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 19, 2022 @ 6:21 pm

    • There’s only room for one guy using a dick euphemism for a username here, buddy. And that honor sure as fuck doesn’t go to some trashy Trish supporter making excuses for her bullshit!

      Comment by Rod — September 20, 2022 @ 6:29 am

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