Our “LEE Members in Office” series shares the stories of members who ran for office during COVID. Find out why these members chose to run and what continues to motivate them to serve as elected leaders.
Jorge Pacheco, Jr. currently serves as the President of the Oak Grove School District. In addition to his elected position, Jorge works as an elementary and middle school ethnic studies and Spanish teacher. He served as a Teach For America Bay Area Corps Member from 2014-2016.
As an Oak Grove School District alumnus himself, Jorge ran because he knows first-hand the issues and struggles of the students, teachers, and parents. Jorge knows how much teachers in his community need support and how every student deserves success.
Under his leadership, Jorge has supported the school district by providing innovative leadership that has been crucial in addressing the challenges brought by COVID-19.
Being a Voice for the Impact of COVID
“Talking about the loss and the impact that COVID has had on my family has helped sharpen my policy decision making and leadership decisions, and it’s helped me make stronger decisions for my district. Talking about it and being vulnerable about it, to me, shows bravery. It shows courage. It proves to me that I can walk the talk and be the role model the district needs right now, that my students need right now, that the state needs right now, because they need to hear about the personal impacts of these kinds of things. If they don't, then how are they going to make the best decision? How will they know what’s the right path forward?”
Running a Campaign During COVID
“I think running and being a leader during a pandemic is more important because the gaps in leadership are more pronounced now than ever before at every level — from the school board level to city councils, county boards to the state.”
Jorge’s leadership on his school board has been a personal journey to highlight the importance of representation — for students, parents, community members.
Our Community Needs Representation
“The reason to run is because lives are at stake. People need us. People need people that look like us to make these decisions and the lack of leadership — the vacuum of leadership that we're experiencing across the country — is costing people's lives. And that's why we need to make the decision to sacrifice again.”
You Are Enough
“I'm tired of waiting and people telling me to wait. Running now is important because people's lives are at stake. And that's what we need to do to fight back. Make that decision to run and choose to represent the community that has never been represented before. You are enough and I hope that you make the decision to run no matter how many years experience you have, no matter what your financial background is. You are enough.”
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