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West Valley Mission Community College District Candidate Statement: Ben Hernandez

Newcomer is challenging incumbent trustee Robert 'Bob' Owens for the representation of district 2, which helps lead 20,000 students at West Valley and Mission colleges in November 2012.

Ben Hernandez, 58, has earned respect as a local community leader. Ben and wife Teresa, a Santa Clara Unified teacher, co-founded Padres Unidos (Santa Clara and Sunnyvale), which promotes educational excellence and leadership among Latino-Chicano youth. They have three students in our public schools.

Ben knows that access to excellent education is key to lifelong success, and that our Community Colleges must provide job preparedness and four-year transfer opportunities.

Ben will ensure our colleges meet the needs of our community's ethnically, economically and educationally diverse students. Ben will ensure the full Board understands how financial decisions impact our portion of the District, even amid struggles with reduced finances and increased demand. When staff implements day-to-day priorities, Ben will champion Santa Clara Unified students' needs. Our community in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale is different from the South side of the District, Ben knows our needs, and Ben will ensure they get met.

Ben has lectured at University of California at Irvine, California State University Long Beach, Montebello Unified School District, and University of California at Berkeley. Ben knows education, and Ben knows our community. Vote Ben Hernandez for Trustee.

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