My name is Allison Rodman and I support and endorse candidate Jumoke Hinton-Hodge in her bid for re-election as the District 3 Oakland Unified School District School Board Director.
I am a parent of two African American children who have gone or are now attending OUSD schools. I have been active in all my children’s schools by being a part of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) leadership. We moved to Oakland in 2002 from San Francisco expressly for my children, so that they would grow up in a diverse community. Currently we live in East Oakland, and I work in the senior home care profession providing safe housing for our elders.
I first became involved in the mechanics of the OUSD School Board in 2009 when I and other parents formed the Oakland School Food Alliance. Our mission was to support the OUSD Nutrition Services Program as carrot by carrot a fresh food approach to food service began to grow roots. Parent energy was needed to help push through the progressive nutrition program and support a bond measure to fund the program. Today, OUSD Nutrition Services is connected to local farmers, provides culturally diverse menus, has eliminated fried food and has broke ground on a state of art Central Kitchen with gardens commissary. As I attended the OUSD board meetings I became excited by the work of Superintendent Tony Smith and the Directors as they built upon the achievement successes happening in many of the flatland schools. This lead to becoming a parent advocate for Go Public Schools, and helping with the election of school board candidates who were hyper focused on creating true change such as Jumoke Hinton-Hodge.
As I attended School Board meetings, I was struck by Director Jumoke Hinton Hodge’s focus on keeping children central to all issues that were brought to the board. She also had no personal or particular agenda except in protecting the children that she represented who were underserved by virtue of race and economics. In 2010 when OUSD decided to bring back McClymonds as one school, I was a mom on the PTSA at Mack. Jumoke and I co-authored the petition to the School Board to return the name of McClymonds High back to it’s original identity. This brought us together and we had many discussions that started with our kids and quickly became about all kids. We talked about how important Restorative Justice is in maintaining trust and relationship.
“I was struck by Ms. Hinton Hodge’s steady state response of keeping children central to all issues … she had no personal or particular agenda except in protecting the children that she represented.”
To this day I still attend community meetings in West Oakland on the topics of community policing and the food justice. I always see my friend Jumoke and appreciate her calm but insistent voice that we must listen to the voice of the youth as, we adults, grapple for solutions and compromise.
When she ran for re-election in 2012, I worked to support her then as I do now. I feel strongly that she has been one of the key players to produce the most recent results we have today in OUSD.
- Overall graduation rate up by 8 percentage points
- Graduation rates of African American males up 14 percentage points
- Graduation rates of students with special needs is up 16 percentage points
- Suspension of African American and Latino students is down nearly 50%
This upward trend gives hope, and Jumoke has been instrumental in the progress. It only makes sense for her to continue in the work that she started. I support Jumoke Hinton Hodge.
Allison Rodman is the mother of two children, and a senior home care professional.