Thurmond Earns Building Trades Endorsement for State Schools Chief

June 26, 2017 - His focus, his experience, and the quality of his work are three big reasons the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California has decided to endorse Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

 “Tony Thurmond, at the Richmond City Council, on the West Contra Costa County School Board, and in the California Assembly, is someone who understands that the way forward for working families is through education,” said SBCTC President Robbie Hunter. “The goal of most working families is for their children to be better educated and to be better qualified to do better in life. This has always been a passion for Tony Thurmond.”

 The son of a Vietnam War veteran from Detroit and an immigrant woman from Panama, Thurmond was born at the old Ford Ord military base in Monterey and raised by a cousin in Philadelphia when his father left the family and his mother died when he was 6-years-old. Thanks to a terrific public education, Tony went on to graduate from Temple University where he was elected student body president. He earned two Masters Degrees at Bryn Mawr College, one in Law and Social Policy and the other in Social Work.

A social worker by profession for 20 years, Thurmond moved to California and won a seat on the Richmond City Council in 2005. He served there through 2008, then was elected to the school board. In 2014, voters promoted him to the 15th District seat in the State Assembly that covers much of the East Bay, where hhe became one of the House’s foremost authorities on education.

Thurmond’s bills have increased funding for early education and created programs to keep kids in school and out of jails. He is working to shift money from criminal justice to pre-school and after-school programs, and to expand funding for school-based health and mental health and social services programs.

In the current legislative session, Thurmond has introduced a bill to help pay for housing for teachers and other school employees who have been priced out of the market in huge swaths of California.

 “Tony’s leadership here in the Capitol and in the city of Richmond uniquely gives him a perspective on what families need in this state,” Hunter said, “which is to get an opportunity, a better paying job, and have the ability to buy a home and be a part of the middle class.”

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