Lindsay Love, 33
Lindsay Love for Chandler Unified School District
Lindsay Love, 33, is running for the Chandler Unified School District in Arizona. As a licensed social worker, she hopes to be an advocate for students of color to foster more inclusive school environments.
What was the best advice you received before you ran for office?
The best advice I received was, "know your community." It's a basic social work tenet: before you can change things, you must observe them and see how things operate. You must learn what works and what doesn't work. What the community wants and what It might not be ready to embrace. You must start where they are and then work your way from there. That Is how you understand a system and ultimately how you change It from within.
What are the issues in Chandler Unified School District that are being neglected or aren’t getting the attention they deserve?
The students in my district, like so many other children, are in the process of Identity formulation. Though CUSD has its successes, creating a safe and equitable space where children can explore their identity is one of the districts failures. Our black and brown children are being pushed out of the classrooms by teachers and administrators who are not in a place where they can acknowledge their unconscious bias. Our achievement gap Is wide and shows in our standardized tests scores where black and brown children have a lower pass rate than their white counterparts. We also are seeing a rise in teen suicides in the east valley, where CUSD is located, from students who likely feel they are not being seen, heard or accepted. My district needs to do better with knowing the community which it serves. That doesn’t mean just listening to the parents and teachers, that also means making sure that the students are number one. We have a base of young activists who have a few things to say and it is time we start adopting more forward thinking and listening to the future generation of leaders who offer a fresher and unique perspective.
When did you hear the call? When did you realize you needed to run for office?
After seeing my own nieces who are students in the district, it triggered my experience as a student in the district who felt unseen and unheard. I also heard experiences that were like mine and my nieces’ stories at school board meetings where black parents protested the need for diversity and Inclusion. I saw board at those meetings and I did not see one person that looked like me, the parents and the students in that room. I decided that It was time for me to be up there, representing my community.
In your own words, what does a school board member do? How does the school board affect me if I don’t have children in school?
School board members approve the budgets for the school year based upon the district needs. They help to create policies within the district and create a sustainable district that will last so that your future children and their future children will have the opportunity and access to a quality education in classrooms that have resources to help them towards their goals. Education is the number one Important Issue in our state. Quality school districts bring economic growth because they bring companies who then bring jobs Into our community. Children need to be enrolled from day 1 to 100 for the district to receive funds. If our district Is not providing quality education, this will impact our economic growth.
What experience best prepared you to serve on the school board?
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked with children and families for 6 years. I bring empathy, active listening and problem-solving to the table. I know my community as someone who has attended school here and has served within the community as an advocate for change.
What keeps you motivated on the campaign trail?
Seeing all the women, particularly women of color, who are resisting and taking up space at tables we have been traditionally excluded from. I was told that I needed to tone down my blackness when I Initially set out to run. I am here, on the ballot, with my skin tone and my fro and people are listening to my message.
What advice would you give to another young Democrat who is considering running for office?
You are more capable and more qualified than you think. You will come up with a million reasons for why you shouldn’t run. Tear up that list and start coming up with reasons for why you should run.
The views expressed in this interview are those of the candidate, and do not reflect the beliefs and views of Ballot Breakers or its staff.