Basim Elkarra for School Board
Welcome to the official Basim Elkarra for Twin Rivers Unified School District Board website. Use this site to signup for email updates, volunteer on the campaign, or write me to talk about education. I look forward to working together to help our students succeed!
Basim Elkarra - On the Issues
Improving Student Performance
Too many of our students are falling behind, with some of the lowest test scores and high school graduation rates of any district in the area. We need to provide our kids with a 21st Century education and prepare them for the world, and that means improving student performance.
- Support early childhood education;
- Reduce class sizes;
- Provide more support and resources for teachers and staff;
- Increase mentoring and other programs targeting at-risk youth;
- Work with local businesses to provide work-study programs, internships, and apprenticeships to prepare young people for the job market.
Schools that are Safe for Teachers, Students and Staff
Our first job is providing a safe place for students to learn and teachers to teach.
We need to work closely with our district’s police officers, school resource officers, teachers, and administrators to ensure that every student goes to school in a safe, positive environment. We also need to stay ahead of the challenges today’s students face with bullying and cyberbullying.
Regain Taxpayers’ Faith in District Management
As the Executive Director of a non-profit and a member of the Los Rios Community College Board Oversight Committee, I know that opening up district financial and contracting practices to public scrutiny is the fastest way to earn back taxpayers’ trust.
We need to budget smarter, reduce administrative waste and and put more of our resources in the classroom, where they belong.
Through better planning, we can better weather short-term changes in our economy, and avoid the boom and bust cycles we have seen in the past. One of my top priorities will be ensuring our schools never have to face the sharp cuts or deficit spending we have endured in the past.
Addressing Neighborhood Schools
Twin Rivers Unified School District, Area 5, currently has only one elementary and one middle school - fewer than any other Trustee Area. With limited school options in Area 5, I will advocate to give families more options.
Previous plans to build an elementary school in Terrace Park, a middle school and high school at the East Natomas Educational Complex (ENEC) have been stopped. I will work to ensure that our community's voice will be heard in discussing all future plans of the district.
Basim Elkarra 2016 Endorsements
Sacramento County Board of Education Trustee and former President Brian Rivas
Sacramento County Board of Education Trustee Harold Fong, M.S.W.
Los Rios Community College President and former State Senator Deborah Ortiz
Los Rios Community College Trustee Pamela Haynes
Los Rios Community College Trustee Dustin Johnson
Los Rios Community College Trustee Kay Albiani
Former Los Rios Community College Trustee Bruce Pomer
Twin Rivers Unified School District Trustee Walter Garcia Kawamoto
Twin Rivers Unified School District Trustee Michael Baker
Natomas Unified School District Vice President Lisa Kaplan
Natomas Unified School District Trustee and former President Scott Dosick
Natomas Unified School District Trustee and former President Dr. Susan Heredia
Sacramento City Unified School District Trustee and former President Darrel Woo
Sacramento City Unified School District Trustee Gustavo Arroyo
Sacramento City Unified School District Trustee Diana Rodriguez
Sacramento City Unified School District former President Roy Grimes
Elk Grove Unified School District Trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen
Elk Grove Unified School District Trustee Nancy Chaires Espinoza
Elk Grove Unified School District Trustee Anthony Perez
Folsom-Cordova Unified School District Trustee Zak Ford
Community Leaders: *
Arturo Venegas, Former Sacramento Police Chief
Pastor Les Simmons, Chair, City of Sacramento Community Police Commission
Pastor Ronnie Walton
Maeley Tom, California State Personnel Board
James Shelby, Former CEO, Greater Sacramento Urban League
Thai Thao, Hmong Community Leader
Mervin Brookins Sr., 100 Strong and Grant Little League
Georgette Imura, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing/Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project Board of Directors
Dr. Tom and Felicia Bhe, APAPA
Susan McKee, Chief of Staff, Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy
Victoria Harris, Office of Assemblymember Kevin McCarty
Mai Yang Vang, Office of Councilmember of Larry Carr
Dr. Sonney Chong, CAPITAL
Mark Freeman, President, FreemanCD
Mona Foster, Founder of Hui o' Hawaii of Sacramento, Inc. (HOH)
Sam Starks, Executive Director, MLK 365 (Organizer of Annual Martin Luther King Jr. March)
Catherine 'Ofa Mann, Tofa of Sacramento
*Titles for identification purposes only
Twin Rivers United Educators
California School Employees’ Association-Twin Rivers Unified Chapter 1717
California School Employees’ Association, Robla Elementary School District Chapter 285
Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, Local 2279 AFT, A.F.L.-C.I.O.
Sacramento Central Labor Council, A.F.L.-C.I.O
Sacramento-Sierra’s Building & Construction Trades Council
Danielle Marshall, President, Natomas Chamber of Commerce
Aubry Stone, President & CEO, California Black Chamber of Commerce
Azizza Davis Goines, President & CEO, Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce
Michael Ault, Executive Director, Downtown Sacramento Partnership
*Titles for identification purposes only
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
Former State Senate President Darrell Steinberg
State Senator, Dr. Richard Pan
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty
Assemblymember Jim Cooper
Assemblymember Ken Cooley
Former Assemblymember Roger Dickinson
Former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada
Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen
Sacramento City Councilmember Rick Jennings
Former City Councilmember Steve Cohn
Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna
Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor
SMUD Board President Nancy Bui-Thompson
SMUD Board Vice President Bill Slaton
SMUD Board member Gregg Fishman
SMUD Board member Genevieve Shiroma
SMUD Board member and former Sacramento City Councilmember Rob Kerth
SMUD Board member Dave Tamayo
in endorsing Basim Elkarra for Twin Rivers School District!
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Basim Elkarra Biography
As a son of two teachers and a father of four, I understand the importance of a quality education. I have been involved in education for over 15 years. I have been living in Regency Park since 2005 and understand the challenges and needs of Area 5 from Heritage Park to Robla. I have campaigned on a promise to be accessible to the community and always putting kids first!
As a nonprofit director and parent, Basim has:
• Founded and runs a youth leadership program at the State Capitol
• Organizes an annual college and career fair at Sac State
• Chaired the Los Rios Community College Bond Oversight Committee
• Served on the Sacramento Library Multicultural Advisory Committee
• Appointed to the City of Sacramento Community Police Commission
• Been elected by parents to serve on the Regency Park Elementary School Site Council
Basim Is Committed To Helping Kids Succeed By:
• Making sure school district resources go directly into the classroom
• Ensuring every school provides children with high quality teachers
• Investing in early childhood education programs
• Reducing school class sizes
• Making more after school programs available for working families
• Preparing young people for the job market by making more
work-study programs, internships and apprenticeships available
Basim Elkarra is the former chair and current member of the Los Rios Community College's Bond Oversight committee, where he protects taxpayers by ensuring that Bonds totaling over $200 million are expended for the construction, repair, and modernization of Los Rios' campuses. Basim Elkarra and the Oversight Committee help ensure that school bond funds are invested as the voters intended and that projects are completed wisely and efficiently. in 2015, Elkarra was elected by the parents of Regency Park Elementary to serve on the School Site Council.
For over a decade Basim Elkarra has served as the Executive Director of the Sacramento office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV), a nonprofit whose mission to protect civil liberties, encourage dialogue and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. In 2005, Elkarra co-founded a youth leadership program at the California State Capitol that has graduated over 450 high school students. He also organizes an annual College and Career Fair out of California State University, Sacramento (CSUS).
Basim Elkarra testifies in hearings at the State Capitol and appears in the media as a regular commentator on civil rights issues. He has also consulted for the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) and has trained law enforcement agencies throughout the Sacramento Valley. In 2015, the Sacramento City Council appointed Elkarra to the Community Police Commission.
Basim Elkarra previously served on numerous committees including: the Sacramento Police Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Sacramento Police Chief Selection Committee, Sacramento State University Community Council, Sacramento Library Multicultural Advisory Committee, Natomas Unified School District Multicultural Advisory Committee, New Leaders Council (Sacramento) Advisory Board and the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association's (APAPA) Outreach Committee. In 2014, Elkarra was featured on the cover of Comstock magazine, as a young professional who is shaping the future of the Sacramento Valley.
Basim Elkarra holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum (ALF) and the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program (NELP). Basim and his wife, Sarah, live in Regency Park with their four children. His daughter Talia attends Regency Park Elementary.
Basim Elkarra's commitment to defending civil rights and building bridges between communities has brought him an array of public recognition and awards, including:
- California State Legislature Resolution #52064
- Daruma Civil Rights Award, Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
- Distinguished Leadership Award, Organization of Chinese Americans
- MLK Outstanding Community Leadership Award, Senator Lois Wolk & Assemblymember Mariko Yamada
About Basim Elkarra
As a parent and a son of teachers, I understand the importance of a quality education and strong neighborhood schools.
On the School Board, I will work in partnership with students, parents, teachers, and the community to provide the resources needed for students to succeed in the 21st century. My priorities: safe, healthy, technologically modern classrooms; programs that help kids stay on the right track and out of trouble; increased student achievement; smaller class sizes; and resources to recruit and retain the best teachers.
As the former chair of Los Rios Community College's bond oversight committee, I understand the importance of fiscal stewardship. If elected, I will cut unnecessary spending, make sound business decisions, value our employees, and put students first.
Education is my passion. I've run a youth leadership program for over a decade, helping students enter top universities. I organize an annual Education and Career Day that teaches students how to pay for college and find a job.
I’m honored to have the support of key educators and community leaders from our region. With your support we can work together to build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.