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EDITORIAL: Grassroots Power

Kudos to the parents and citizens who organized a grassroots movement to challenge the board of the Del Mar Union School District. The primary issue at stake was the proposed closing of the Del Mar Hills school (see page 16 for a full discussion of the issues by Tom Sohn).

What was impressive was the speed and focus of the activists. Numbers matter—they were able to round up petition names and warm bodies in the hundreds in record time. The message matters—they combined hard facts with pedagogical logic. The tenor matters—they articulated rationally as well as passionately. Focus matters—they targeted their audience, they set clear goals, they laid out consequences, and most of all they persisted. They won! It was textbook community activism.

Lets give a little credit to the board members who did not dig in but were able to execute a rather dramatic u-turn to achieve community consensus. And it was a unanimous decision.

Now comes the hard part, how to finance the final decision. which includes some big ticket items such as adding a 9th school in the Pacific Highlands Ranch, rebuilding the Del Mar Heights school, and modernizing the Del Mar Hills school. We trust that the grassroots organization will swing into action to galvanize voter support for the school bond which will appear on our November ballots.



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