Rebecca Barrett Talks Community College Issues, K-12 Education and More

On this episode, I chat with Rebecca Barrett who is the President of the Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees. We ping-pong around a variety from what is currently going on in the District to her experience with Tom Torlakson and Mark DeSaulnier to K-12 Education. We jump into Contra Costa politics, District elections, the Boys and Girls Club, an update on the Brentwood Campus and more.

  • 00:58 – Intro, Rebecca explains her experience in working for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
  • 03:08 – How does one prepare for a state opening in terms of schools with different areas having different rules.
  • 05:13 – I ask if I have been too hard on State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Rebecca explains the position and what they are doing from her perspective.  We will begin looking at cuts and how do we save jobs in education.
  • 08:18 – Rebecca’s background as graduate from Diablo Valley College, UCLA and working for Tom Torlakson. Idea of Gold Ribbon Schools for Distance Learning?
  • 10:21 – Why she wanted to be on the community college board?
  • 12:10 – We get into the lack of “bench” in Contra Costa County where people are not involved enough to gain experience to serve local elected office.
  • 14:49 – What issue for Contra Costa Community College District made her speak up – had to do with racist graffiti.  Creating policy and processes.
  • 18:42 – What Rebecca learned from both Torlakson and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier in working for them and how it has helped her now.
  • 23:28 – We get into the scenario at the California State Legislator that will be terming out in 2022-24 and a change in legislator.
  • 25:38 – We get into Contra Costa Community College District and what they are up to with the shutdown, search for the ne Chancellor. We also get into their three online graduations.  We also get into what the Fall Semester may look like.
  • 35:10 – What is new with the Brentwood Campus.
  • 39:53 – We talk about Boys and Girls Club of Contra Costa which is her “day job” and the impact right now the shutdown is having on both fundraising and services.  Providing school supplies and COVID-19 response fund across the county. 
  • 44:29 – How do we get a Boys and Girls Club in Antioch or East Contra Costa County, especially considering Antioch approved Measure W funds for Youth Programs.
  • 47:50 – Essential vs. non-essential business term… everyone is essential. How Gavin Newsom is doing everything possible to become unelected.
  • 54:45 – We get into Contra Costa reopening and why none of it makes sense.
  • 58:28 – We get into how Rebecca got rid of her English accent….
  • 1:03:34 – We chat about District Elections and the impact it will have around Contra Costa County.  Could we get the county to do video ballot statements? What election races is Rebecca going to be watching this fall?  She highlights how Antioch elections never play softball, its rough elections.  Impacts District elections could have on elected officials focus on districts vs. entire cities. We also get into City of Martinez and District Elections.
  • 1:13:19 – Final thoughts on Community College District, the Chancellor search and when a hiring may occur and what the enrollment numbers look like.
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