Campaign Statement from Jennifer Slayton
Over the past two months, since filing as a candidate for Kern Community College District (KCCD) Trustee for Area 2, I’ve been reaching out to and visiting the resilient and unique communities of our Area. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of residents to hear their concerns, identify local issues, and understand their priorities. I have truly loved being able to hear so many interesting and unique perspectives, and have also heard one consistent message that has been resoundingly loud and clear in every corner of Area 2 – residents are tired of outside and special interests making decisions that leave us out. From north to south and east to west, across the over 18,000 square miles that is KCCD Area 2, residents are all tired of not having a voice in decisions that impact us, losing out on access to vital programs, and not getting a fair share of the resources that our communities need to be strong and our residents need to be successful. Residents in KCCD Area 2 want, and need, our elected representatives to put our communities first, make our needs their priority, and to focus on fighting for the resources we need.
There are several issues facing the KCCD Board of Trustees now that will have resounding impacts on our communities for decades – decisions about pandemic recovery and economic development opportunities just to name two. Because of this, it is more urgent than ever that we have a representative who will put Area 2 interests first and be solely focused on the job, and not the agenda of a political machine. Not only must we have a representative who will put our interests first, but this must be someone who is a strong representative that will hit the ground running from day one, who already understands the issues, who has the education and expertise to fully understand and advocate for us, and who has proven experience at making sure our needs are included in KCCD Board decisions. I am that person.
I am proud and honored to have a proven track record that demonstrates that I am ready, focused, and have the qualifications to be the voice that our communities need at this moment. I have decades of experience in community and economic development in rural communities. I’ve worked in education running local, state, and federal education programs for nearly as long. I hold a Master’s in Economics focused on economic growth and development. I’ve served for over fifteen years on public and advisory bodies as a voice for our outlying and rural communities. I have a demonstrated history of fighting for, and delivering, much-needed resources in rural communities.
My priority from the day I filed to run has been our communities, and will continue to be when I am elected. For the past two months I have made my number one priority hearing from our local community members and working to understand the diverse and unique communities that I’m asking for the privilege to serve. I have built relationships with and listened to residents across the thirty-seven communities of Area 2. I have shown-up to see the communities firsthand, to experience the things residents are proud to share, and to understand the issues that are concerning them. And I promise to continue to do this when elected, always putting the interests of our residents first and working diligently to meaningfully serve every community of Area 2. I am committed to serving as Trustee with one single priority – to use my knowledge and experience to serve our communities on the KCCD board.
(From Jennifer Slayton)