Community & Events

Getting To Know Kelly Wilkerson, Area 4 Los Rios Community College Trustee Candidate

Photo Credit: Kelly Wilkerson

Kelly Wilkerson is running for the Service Area 4 seat on the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees.

Area 4 covers the southern part of the city of Sacramento and Sacramento County. Specifically, the Valley Hi area, Laguna, Clarksburg, and the western part of Yolo County. Cosumnes River Community College (CRC), CRC Elk Grove Center, Sacramento City College (SCC) West Sacramento Center, and SCC Davis Center would be within her area of jurisdiction. 

 

Area 4 Vacant Seat

David Santino, a Water Attorney, and professor is running as well. 

Additionally, Katie Villegas, a Family Service Director is also running for Area 4 as well.

Currently, the seat is vacant.

Core Values

According to her website, here are Kelly’s core values.

“I’m running because of my long-time commitment to public education and because this position is critical now as we struggle to recover from a recession and widespread educational disruption. The Los Rios Community Colleges and centers will be at the center of our region’s recovery, helping students to start or re-start their education and careers. This is a time when our values matter—and I want to share mine with you.”

 

In a recent interview, with A Seat at the Table, an Elk Grove bookstore aimed to uplift the oppressed and smash the kyriarchy, Kelly answered the following questions.

What Inspired You To Run For Community College Trustee? 

“I thought I was going to be changing the country into a kinder, little fairer place to be. I started a group called Sister District CA-3, in 2017. Co-founded with some other really hard-working activists to elect progressives up and down the ballot. 

“What changed my mind was two things. The COVID-19 crisis. I saw the economic and educational devastation that our communities are suffering under and realized that the community colleges are going to be at the center of our recovery. There are so many folks who are heading back to the community colleges trying to make up educational ground, switching careers, starting their lives anew in the middle of a pandemic. My own son is a combat veteran [and he] is one of those people, [he] lost his job in March. In the summer [he] enrolled in Sac City. One of the thousands of people who are changing direction and the community colleges need to be there.

“I really do believe that our public community colleges — think how awesome that is, not every state has what we have.  In fact, what we have is one of a kind. Our community colleges really are the center for social, economic, and, racial justice. A lot of the problems we look at as a society, the community colleges can be a part of that solution. This is the time. We really need to have strong community colleges. We need to fight for funding for community colleges so they can fulfill their mission. I felt like I had some unique skills and a unique background that would help me do that. I felt it was a place I can really serve my community in this time of disruption.”

 

What Does A Community College Trustee Do?

“They are responsible for the educational, physical, and financial well-being of the district. And then there are also some legal duties as well. But I think trustees have an unofficial role and that role is to collaborate and connect with the community. And that I think I have a special connection as a high school teacher, both as an English teacher and also as a career education teacher.”

 

 

What Is Your Involvement With Elk Grove In Particular?

“I have really enjoyed getting to know Elk Grove during this campaign. I have conducted at least 50 informal interviews with faculty, students, staff members, and community members to make sure I understand the issues. Especially CRC since it’s right here in your backyard and I understand some of the challenges. And a little know fact, I used to be in communications before I was a teacher and I spent 2 years as a paid employee and on contract with EGUSD. This was right when all the schools were being built. So I’m trying to understand the unique needs and actions of this school district.”

What Are 3 Books That Have Inspired You In Your Journey?

The New Jim Crow- Michelle Alexander

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

Less – Andrew Sean Greer

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