Educate Our State is a grassroots, parent-led organization educating and uniting Californians to advocate for systemic change that will provide all students with a high-quality public education.
Initially, we spread the word through House Parties, with small groups of parents, and Town Hall meetings, with larger numbers of parents and community members. We still do these because having a discussion in a face-to-face meeting with someone help us both understand each other better.
However, demanding real systemic change from Sacramento requires more voices.
2012 was a big year for Educate our State!
In the Fall of 2012, we kicked off our “Yes for Education” campaign to educate voters about the two education propositions on the November ballot. Our volunteers held over 300 events from booths at farmers markets to Twitter parties, reaching 5 million followers. We connected online with over 2 million Facebook fans and phone banked from San Diego to Sacramento. We were part of the solution to stabilize education funding for the short term.
In October of 2012, 300 people joined us in San Francisco for our first fundraising luncheon, featuring writer Kelly Corrigan as Master of Ceremonies, and actor Tim Daly and former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin as speakers. Click here to view the video.
In August of 2012, we held “Camp Educate” leadership training events in Los Angeles and Oakland. We provided our leaders with the skills to reach out to their wider communities and educated them about our fall campaign.
In March of 2012, we launched the “This Budget Blows” campaign as a response to the Governor’s budget. In one day, Educate Our State held 60 bubble-blowing events up and down the state, asking our legislature not to “blow it” and to create a budget that funds our schools. We sent over 15,000 letters to our state legislators and took our message to every legislative office in Sacramento.
2011 was just as exciting:
"Camp Educate" held in November 2011 was a parent leadership training bringing one hundred parent leaders from around the state took time out of their busy lives to gather at the Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles to learn engagement and organizing skills with the New Organizing Institute. After an intensive, three-day training program, these parents leaders now have a better understanding of how to engage and mobilize through key, shared-leadership, organizing practices. Organizationally, Educate Our State is even now more effective in our grassroots movement, and a second “Camp Educate” is already in the planning stages. Click here for more information about the 2011 “Camp Educate.”
The “Wake Up California!” campaign was a one-day, statewide event held on May 24, 2011. This campaign was modeled on the successful “Awake the State” campaign held in Florida. “Wake Up California” was a multi-city day of action to increase awareness of the crisis facing California public and demonstrated a unified parent and community voice supporting public education. Rallies took place throughout the day all over the state. Every location had a unique event, including: moms in curlers and bathrobes handing out coffee and fliers at school sites, a flash mob and a choir performance in a San Diego park, parents and children marching in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles, and families rallying in the square in front of Redwood City’s Town Hall. The 22 events in all generated significant publicity for Educate Our State (link to press here). Click here for more information about “Wake Up California!”
The “Let Us Vote” campaign was held in March 2011 to tell the legislators to give voters the opportunity to extend expiring, temporary taxes to support education. Using donations, we purchased software that would allow us to help parents contact their state legislators as well as track the campaign’s progress. Within a week, constituents had produced 10,000 letters, and by the end, the campaign had generated 60,000 letters addressed to every state senator and every assemblyman in the state heard from someone in their district. Click here for more information about “Let Us Vote.”
Click here for the history of the Educate Our State movement.