California parents mobilize after feeling ‘political disillusionment’ – By Mackenzie Mays (Politico) / Feb 25 2021
SACRAMENTO — Parents across California are protesting outside district offices, circulating petitions and dialing into school board meetings with a fury never before seen in the blue state.
Gone is the fear of being politically incorrect by siding with Donald Trump or facing criticism for not caring about teachers. Instead, parents in the nation’s biggest state are emboldened and organizing as President Joe Biden pledges to reopen schools and top national disease experts say it is safe to do so with the right precautions.
“All of us are isolated, frustrated, desperate and alone. Finding like-minded parents, I don’t feel like I’m crazy and have to scream into my pillow every night and cry myself to sleep,” said Lei Levi, a parent of two young children in Berkeley.
Nearly a year after most schools in the state closed, the parent movement is having its own moment in California. It could be just the beginning for a powerful new interest group with the potential to become a major player in state and local politics.
Few families thought they’d be locked out this long. With infection rates dropping dramatically and Gov. Gavin Newsom joining Biden in pushing to reopen, parents are holding both of the Democratic leaders accountable — and may become key to getting teachers to return.