Public policy advocate Kristie Wang, who gained attention over the past two years as a leader in the local fight against youth vaping, is running for the Livermore school board this fall.
A co-founder of Flavors Addict Kids-Livermore who also serves as domestic violence victim advocate in the Tri-Valley, Wang said she looks to use her background and skills in education and public policy to help guide the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District through a critical moment in time.
"As we work to educate our children effectively and safely, deal with COVID-19 economic fallout and engage with our youth in the national conversation on civil rights, the school board must guide with knowledge, policy expertise and compassion. I have the experience and the skills needed now," Wang said in launching her school board campaign.
A first-time candidate, Wang is among five residents who will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot with two at-large positions up for election.
At least one LVJUSD seat is guaranteed to change hands in the general election because Trustee Chris Wenzel decided not to seek re-election. The other four candidates are incumbent Trustee Chuck Rogge and challengers Yanira Guzmán, Kandiss Hewing and Asa Strout.
Wang aims to make herself stand out in part by capitalizing on the success of the parent-led grassroots efforts of Flavors Addict Kids-Livermore that spurred the City Council to adopt a ban on flavored tobacco products and other regulations to help curb the growing trend of teen vaping in Livermore.
"My work on youth vaping has given me valuable experience in local government and contacts with city leaders that will allow me to hit the ground running as a school board member," she said.
With a campaign motto of "We all do better when our students do better," Wang points to community engagement as another priority in her bid for school board.
"Despite the challenges of our current social environment, I am committed to hearing the Livermore community’s specific needs as it is one of my most prized values as a public policy advocate," she said, adding that she plans to hold a series of virtual listening sessions with voters and stakeholders in the coming weeks.
A native of Taiwan who immigrated to the U.S. at 7 years old with her family, none of whom spoke English at the time, Wang said she knows first-hand the importance of high-quality education. She credits her experience in Fremont public schools for her academic and professional success.
Wang holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in education policy from the University of Chicago. She recalled spending a year embedded in Chicago public school classrooms to study teaching methods.
She worked for four years in the Washington, D.C. area -- on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon -- before returning to the Bay Area in 1997 and spending several years with national organizations on children’s policy and domestic violence. For the last nine years, she has served as a volunteer domestic violence victim advocate for Tri-Valley Haven.
Wang and her husband have resided in Livermore for the past 14 years. They have two teenage children -- one who graduated from Livermore High last school year and the other is currently a junior at Granada High. She spent time as a classroom volunteer during their youth.
"Now I want to use my skills to help guide our schools through this critical time. I want to support our schools and our teachers to make Livermore’s schools work for our children the way mine did for me," Wang said.
To learn more about Wang’s campaign, go to www.KristieWangforSchoolBoard.com.