(click to read the previous installment)
Please describe your ability to be impartial, as discussed in Regulation 60800. You may include with this description any occupational, academic, volunteer, or other life experiences you have had that demonstrate this ability.
- I teach high school. At least once a week we analyze a professional commentary from somewhere along the political spectrum. As an education, I feel part of my duty is to help sculpt citizens who have a firm grasp on the complexities of public discourse. Most teenagers, unsurprisingly, don't come to me with a sense of political nuance. And that's what I try to teach them. For instance, I did an entire unit on the language of the propositions the year Prop 11 passed. If the kids felt chickens should be protected (Prop 2) I argued that eggs--our state's most affordable protein--would get more expensive. If one class thought kids should have to report abortions to their parents and another class thought they shouldn't (Prop 4), then for the first class I argued parental rights and to the second class I openly feared a return to the back alley. In both those cases I had strong opinions regarding those propositions, but my students would be hard pressed to tell you what wise I was on. Because fairness mattered more to me--I wanted my students to have the opportunity to make up their own minds. And whatever they decided--so long as their decision was based on solid reasoning and true facts--was acceptable to me. There was one exception to the they-don't-know-where-I-stand rule: Prop 11. Prop 11 moves beyond who's right and who's wrong. Prop 11 is about the opportunity to have your vote count. Without Prop 11, it doesn't much matter how well informed you are about candidates, because we have no true democracy. Redistricting matters so much because without it, impartiality cannot exist. So yes, I can be impartial. Being impartial is, in my opinion, the first step in saving our great state. (Addendum: I'm not looking to seek for public office and yes, as a teacher I am a member of one of the state's largest unions, but we don't always get along. Maybe fifty percent of the time?)