Felicia Chew on Public and Charter Schools

Screenshot_20190416-041540_DocsOk, I will say it: We need charter schools because public schools have been failing our kids. Are some charter schools taking advantage of “the system “? Yes. But that doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bath water. And yes, the reverse argument is true — that we should not abandon public schools.

That being said, I have seen too many instances of families pulling their kids out of schools due to bullying (not just by children, but also by staff). I have seen those same families try to work with the school, only to be blamed, guilted, and shamed. The parents are bullied by the school. It doesn’t make sense to stay in an abusive relationship, so the families look for something else.

However, the families are now vulnerable, desperately looking for somewhere to enroll their children, because Arizona state law requires that students under a certain age are required to attend school. So, some scammers (because scammers exist) find these families… and scam them. Yes, they should be held accountable; however, the scammers have most likely already spent all of the money on disposable items. So then what happens? People get upset and try to throw all charters under the bus. Here’s the thing: Not all charters are scams…. just like not all Liberals are loony…. just like all Republicans are racist… etc.

Public school teachers are faced with the reality that their pay depends on how their students fare on their tests. This results in many teachers who are unable to release their need for control over their students; this impedes the ability for teachers to work with students who don’t fit the mold.

There are too many teachers who are teaching to the tests which are not authentic assessments, which do not encourage our students to become critical thinkers.

Critical thinking is significantly important, as we can see from the numbers of individuals sucked in to “fake news”. Students are discouraged, mocked, and ridiculed for asking questions.

In many classrooms, teaching practices are no longer effective, self-motivation for students is lacking, and teachers work harder to control student behavior and learning. This doesn’t work, because that is not how humanity works.

We have unique gifts, strengths, weaknesses that are forced into molds to help us assimilate, to make things easier. However, the old adage is true: “You cannot force a Square peg into a Round hole”…

Yes, it is scary to release our hold on our children, and on our situations. However, it is like a pot of water that is boiling with the lid pressed on… you could try to contain it, but it will eventually explode, scalding whatever is close enough.

The solution? (1) Identify the individuals who need help, seeing past their own noses, and remove them from positions of power over policies and budgets (2) Teach our kids and community to be critical thinkers (3) Encourage critical thinking, humanity, empathy, and wisdom (4) Get rid of standardized tests and use authentic assessments instead (5) Ask questions, seek truth and stand strong (and rest and ask for help when needed).

#PublicSchoolsSuck

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Felicia Chew on Stonegarden Money (Part Three)

More about Border Communities and Stonegarden Money.   Previous thoughts at:


I woke up this morning, and got back to work about the conflict of Stonegarden Money.  I found this April 11, 2019 article (at https://www.npr.org/2019/04/11/711907914/the-borderlands-not-the-u-s-not-mexico-a-transitional-land) about a rancher-writer named Hugh Fitzsimmons, and his experience with migrants in the “transition space.”

Mr. Fitzsimmons writes about migrants leaving their belongings on the road as they seek refuge — and I cried, remembering so many stories of when people fled with that which they considered the most prized, only to abandon it on the side of the road for looters.

From the article:  “This isn’t the first time Fitzsimons has come across piles of discarded items left behind by migrants on his property. He said he’s even seen syringes among the debris.”

Thinking about the stories I have been hearing about the syringes that are found in various places due to alleged illegal drug use, Mr. Fitzsimmons provides another reason for syringes in the Desert: “Those syringes are for people who might go into some sort of renal failure from lack of water or dehydration,” he said. “Seeing those syringes, I think, made a greater impression on me than anything.”

We must beware of half truths, and misleading stories.  We must question the truth, versus implicit bias.

What does Mr. Fitzsimmons want?  He wants the government to implement a guest worker program for migrants.” He considers that to be a real solution to the immigration issue.

From the article:

That’s what I want to see a candidate talk about,” he said. “Let the good people in, keep the bad people out. How complicated is that?

What a great idea!  Sounds pretty simple, until we complicate it with policies, due to fear.

I think of the bravery of Arivacans like Clara Godfrey who stood up to the militia (who were making things worse in Arivaca).

I think of Mr. Fitzsimmons’ comment about bravery in the linked article, when asked if he gets nervous walking alone on his thousands of acres of ranch land, he joked, “I do, but my Colt-45 does not.

I think about the perspectives from those who want the wall to be built, and the fear they attempt to infuse in the Nation about the situation here in Border Communities.

Do we need money to help fund our Deputies?

– Yes.

Does it need to be money to provide more funds for a situation that does not exist?

– No.

The money should come with the understanding that the agency accepting the funds will work together with the community how use the money –for example, technology means a lot — radios that can interact with City radios (in addition to Border Patrol) or “spy towers”.  There is concern about the “spy towers”.  Address those concerns.

If this is not the “way things work”, change the interpretation.  Don’t rely on big money lawyers for the interpretation, rely on the smarts that we have.  Return to common sense, humanity, empathy, and wisdom.

In conclusion: 

(1) There are various ways to implement programs.

(2) The Stonegarden money comes with strings — policies, in accordance to a mission statement — to keep Americans safe, able to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

(3) The implementation is up to us.

The beautiful thing is that America is the land of the free, the home of the brave, where the weary can come and seek refuge.

We can provide these opportunities, regardless of the leader at the higher level.  The money is given to local law enforcement to provide services to the community.

I go back to the information I found with my original research — that this chunk of funds is for Technology and funding Deputies.  We should be helping our Sheriff identify *how* that money will be spent, not *if* we should accept the funds.

#StopGettingDistracted #FocusOnTheIssues #WorkTogether

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Learn more about Felicia and her campaign at http://www.feliciachew.com/district3


Support her Projects, or the Campaign at http://www.feliciachew.com/support


Felicia Chew on Stonegarden Money (Part Two)

Back Story

The County Supervisors have been tasked with the vote of whether or not to renew the acceptance of Stonegarden funds.  The funds have been accepted for many years; however, this year, the m Board voted against accepting the funds.  I did some research on the issues, and I wrote about how I would have voted “Yes” for Stonegarden funds.  After sharing my comments, I was encouraged by several community members to gather more information about the story of Stonegarden funds, and the situation in Arivaca.

I had some online conversations regarding concerns with targeting by Deputies, and concern of “spy towers”.  I committed to making a trip to Arivaca, so I could (1) go through the checkpoint; (2) chat with locals; and (3) visit the Lake.

My Trip to Arivaca – Sunday, April 14, 2019

I jumped into my car at 10 AM, gassed up at the QuikTrip, and headed down the I-10 to Arivaca.  From I-10, I merged onto the I-19, and then followed the signs to Arivaca.  The speed limit signs changed, and I saw the announcement that the Border Checkpoint was ahead.

The Checkpoint… Then Amado (10:57 AM)

I came to the checkpoint, where I was waved through, along with another car in front of me. The Border Patrol was checking in with the car heading toward Tucson.  We had approached at the same time, and as I pulled through the checkpoint, I could see the vehicle headed the other direction proceed toward Tucson as well.

Eventually, I came to Amado, and I pulled over to take a quick picture.

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Getting To The Lake

I continued on; my goal was to get to Arivaca Lake, because what I heard of it sounded like it might be like Ramah Lake, which I had lived near when I lived in New Mexico.

Google Maps led me to the Arivaca Boys Ranch, and I couldn’t tell if it would actually get me to the Lake, so I turned around, went through the tiny “Downtown” of Arivaca, followed the signs to the Lake, passed a few Border Patrol vehicles and passenger vehicles.  I waved to the oncoming drivers, like I did when I lived in New Mexico, traveling along the rural roads.  I felt myself relaxing, as I fell into the comfort of the rural dirt roads… and I eventually arrived at the boat launch.

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The Lake (12:15 PM)

I parked my car, and got out of my vehicle, greeted by the sounds of a small child and his mother.  They were on a short path by the Lake, and the mother was reprimanding her son for wandering away without permission, and he was crying.   They returned to their group, and I walked along the short path by the Lake, took some photos, and then walked back to the boat launch, and onto the pier, empty except for abandoned shoes, probably belonging to the kids who were in the Lake.  Some kids were out on the Lake in a kayak, and a fisher boat was coming in.

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Conversation with Non-Local Former Law Enforcement Officers

The fisherman greeted me as they came in, and I asked if they had any luck.  They had.  They had caught some bass.  I asked if they were local, and shared that I am running for County Supervisor.  They said they were from Tucson, and former TPD officers.  We chatted about how I was a former member of CPARB, and we chatted about how TPOA said I was anti-police during my campaign. We talked about the situation with Sergeant Mann, and I shared how I felt too much of the blame had been unfairly placed upon him; and the U of A student should not have approached the back of the police line.  We chatted about the concerns of citizens that officers were racially targeting individuals.  We chatted about the requests I had made for data, and the response that it was not available.  We chatted about how I had advocated for the City helping officers purchase their bulletproof vests, and how I had tried to work with the Police Foundation, and was told that I was not allowed to do that.  Their boat was secured to their truck, and we said Good-bye.

Conversation with Locals Who Ask for Militia to Move Along (Thank You)

After the fishermen left, I struck up a conversation with some locals, set up with a table at the side of the Lake.   They were hosting a fishing tournament.  We talked about why I was campaigning for a seat on the Board (my concerns for the conditions of the roads in the rural areas of the County, the need for our policies and budgets to be better, and for our education system to be improved), and the work I did now (with the Environmental Education Exchange, and limiting policies and focus in schools), and I asked what concerns they had (the roads, the requirements to follow the County’s guidelines on their small recycling operation, and the individuals who come in trying to cause problems in the community).  We exchanged contact information, and agreed to stay in touch.

I took a couple more photos, and then got back in my car to head back to Tucson.

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Leaving the Lake and Heading Back To Tucson

On the road back to Arivaca, I stopped for a moment to snap this photo of the patched road.  There were many sections that had been patched.

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My last photo out in Arivaca.

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The Checkpoint

When I approached the Checkpoint, I was the only traveler on the road.  I rolled down my windows, and was asked if I was a U.S. Citizen.  I said I was.  We chatted briefly about my hat (I was wearing my EEE hat), and about water sustainability and grants for water cisterns at a home.  A car pulled up behind mine, so we said Good-bye, and I returned to Tucson.

More Research

When I arrived back in Tucson, I researched Arivaca and the militia, and the murder of Brisenia Flores and her father, and also found this video “Fighting Arizona’s Border Militia”; and also checked for an update on the Commission and found this April 9, 2019 update “Commission Rejects Stonegarden Grant”.

Felicia’s Conclusion – Values / Study

I have been trained in the system of continuous improvement.  That training is coupled with one of my favorite lines from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”  Romeo implores those he loves to “Be satisfied!”

First, I hope that we can be satisfied. However, that is frequently difficult to do, because of our differences of opinion, and the reality that there is more than one way to solve a problem.

Felicia’s Conclusion – Assessment / Next Steps

In this case, things that could have been done (and be done) differently (in no particular order):

Recommendations on Processes / Policies

(1) Racial profiling should be addressed.  Racial profiling is a concern in the City and the County.  For example, the request for information from the Sheriff’s Department by the Commissioners is the same type of information that I requested from TPD when I was on CPARB (in 2013).  Law Enforcement should be tracking this information (the number of stops and conversations and the ethnicity of individuals (officers can explain that a survey is being conducted to address concerns of racial profiling), so it is readily available, provides transparency, and ensures that implicit bias is not an issue;

(2) Supervisors should ensure seats are filled on Commission Boards;

(3) Supervisors should postpone the vote if recommended to do so, with valid reason from the Commissioners  (Note: These postponements should not be for any light or transient reason);

(4) Concerns raised by the Commissioners should be addressed.  In this case, the issues are: (1) not wanting to subject deputies to additional overtime; (2) uncertainty over Stonegarden’s effectiveness; and (3) lack of transparency from the Sheriff’s Department.

(5) Locals should be empowered to accept, offer alternative options, or refuse services in order to protect local culture and peoples  — to avoid gentrification, end wasteful spending, reduce crime, support local businesses, build community.

(6) Supervisors should coordinate efforts to find the best solution;

(7) Funding from the State or Federal Government that conflict with local needs should be communicated with State and Federal Offices;

(8) Implementation and Maintenance Plans should be reviewed continuously, with frequency determined per Department purposes.


For more information on Felicia Chew for District 3 Supervisor, visit http://www.feliciachew.com/district3


Support the campaign at http://www.feliciachew.com/support

Felicia Chew on Planned Parenthood and Abortion

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  There has been much discussion recently in regards to the operations of Planned Parenthood and abortion…

I invite you to consider the following:

(1) “Around 80% of child maltreatment fatalities involve at least one parent as perpetrator.” (https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics/)

(2) I was a victim of religious coercive control, where the home church permitted beatings of children until they were bloody and bruised, and they condoned the separation of families of children who they deemed to be incorrigible.

I have two messages, for those who are religious, and those who are not religious:

(1) To those who are religious:  The Bible teaches that God gives People choices.  For example, in the Old Testament when God was rejected by the People in the Book of Kings, the People agreed to abide by the natural consequences, such as taxation by Kings, etc.  We can extrapolate from that statement, that decisions made by the People will have natural consequences without interference from God (e.g. a natural consequence of a sperm meeting an egg usually forms an embryo.)

We could argue and respond with infinite scripture, references, arguing with one another; however, we should also be mindful of (1) the new covenant in the New Testament, that (2) God / Jesus / the Holy Spirit (Ghost) resides in each of us; (3) the first commandment is that “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”, (4) recognize the examples of  Pharisees and Sadducees being condemned by Christ; and (5) remember Jesus’ words: “Not everyone who calls upon me LORD, LORD, will enter the kingdom of heaven,” (6) Jesus’ words at his death “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — a human response that ignores the promise of God in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you”, and (7) the words of Paul I 2nd Corinthians 11:14 “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”

I have experienced religious coercive control first hand. I encourage those of you who are condemning women who are making choices, to go to your Gethsemane.  Spend time without the influence of others.  Spend time to find and do what is right.

Look past the fears that hold you in bondage, telling you that you are not worthy to have a relationship with God.  YOU ARE WORTHY.

(2) To those who are not religious:  Recognize that a woman would be forced to carry a child for up to 9 months, unable to exercise her free will (she might have complications, or her work may force her to take time off for her pregnancy — and studies show that babies are strongest and healthiest when cared for at a young age by their mother — however, mothers are not allowed to take their children with them to work…)

Do you see the cycle that perpetuates into resentment, guilt, shame, frustration, lack of support?

WE, the People, are given certain inalienable rights… to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Forcing a parent to birth a child is an infringement on a Mother’s rights.

In closing, “There are 107,918 foster children eligible for and waiting to be adopted. In 2014, 50,644 foster kids were adopted — a number that has stayed roughly consistent for the past five years. The average age of a waiting child is 7.7 years old and 29% of them will spend at least three years in foster care.” (https://www.google.com/amp/s/adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-statistics/amp).

You can learn more about the services at Planned Parenthood at plannedparenthood.org.

You can read the Bible online (recognize that there are numerous translated versions, and numerous interpretations.)  #THINK about who is giving those interpretations.  What is their motive?  What do they gain?  Question, question, question.  Jesus asked many questions.  #SeekTruth

#FreedomFromControl #FreedomFromDeception #FreedomFromPropaganda #FreedomFromFear


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life, without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


www.feliciachew.com

Felicia Chew on Ending Road Rage

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Heartbreaking.

Summerbell had the right to love, the right to dance, and the right to love gymnastics. Her parents had the right to love Summerbell and give her a safe and healthy life. However, that right was taken away when Summerbell was murdered in her own driveway.

Yes, the responsibility falls upon Joshua who chose to follow the Browns and pull the trigger multiple times. The responsibility also falls upon the system that led him down the path that left him feeling like he had no other choice than to follow the Browns to their home and open fire.

Can we do something to change future outcomes? Yes, we can make adjustments to the system so that safer and healthier paths are available for each of us and all of us.

We can:
– Educate our communities on mindfulness;
– Provide opportunities and models for developing and practicing empathy;
– Listen to our community members and identify what the stressors are, and work to minimize those stressors, while empowering community members, so they know the power they have, without feeling like they need to take power and control away from others.

Policy Review: Human Relations, Rights, and Responsibilities: (1) Respect and honor the rights to decisions by others; (2) Harm no one; (3) Have empathy.

Budget Review: (1) Funds for accessible and affordable fun, engaging, interactive, educational activities that promote mindfulness, responsibility, and empathy; (2) Funds for maintaining indoor and outdoor accessible and affordable safe spaces for engaging in trauma informed restorative and transformative courageous conversations.

#VoteFeliciaChew2020

http://www.feliciachew.com/district3


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life. Without each of us our picture is incomplete.”

Excerpt from “Raiders of An’nui ul Ye’thla”

“Yes! We want it all. We deserve it all! It matters not how. It matters not who we step upon, climb upon, or trample beneath our feet. It matters not at all! For we are invincible! And they are but mere puny humans. And so, we shall have it all. Because no one, no not one matters but seeing ourselves high up on that pedestal. It is our legacy! It is indeed our birthright!” — Raiders of An’nui ul Ye’thla, page 497, copyright 2014