Jackie Pioli is perhaps the most important local gun safety candidate in Stamford, Connecticut. After a year of gun violence in our neighborhoods, with two youth shot and killed - Stamford Academy student Antonio Robinson,18, and Westhill High School student Marcus Hall, 16 - members of the community seek better prevention strategies.
“The ENOUGH Campaign is laser-focused on curbing local gun violence and ways to prevent tragedies like those that have happened in recent months,” says co-founder Shira Tarantino. “We believe that one of the biggest factors in neighborhood gun violence in Stamford is the disenfranchisement of families with children. While our Stamford public school system has the capacity and collective expertise to be able to reach these children, our current Board of Education hasn’t fully harnessed these strengths.
“We believe that Jackie Pioli’s plan to reintroduce disenfranchised families back into the Stamford public school system is the missing piece in local gun violence prevention, part of a holistic strategy which is lacking in the Stamford Board of Education,” explains Ms. Tarantino. "Stamford Public Schools has an opportunity to create a model for other school systems across Connecticut with Jackie Pioli on the Board."
Jackie Pioli understands the need for Stamford Public Schools to put boots on the ground, go into the community, and speak with families face to face to inform and to establish trust. The ENOUGH Campaign has therefore chosen to support Jackie Pioli as our candidate for Stamford Board of Education.
During a visit with Ms. Pioli at her meet and greet, she explained to attendees her platform of transparency, accountability, and connecting with community:
“I realized that door knocking, focusing on the West Side, East Side and South End (now Harbor Point), that parents are uninformed, and there is no trust anymore,” said Ms. Pioli. “We can’t expect them to get to school meetings. We have to push again for staff to do home visits. If kids aren’t coming to school, then go knock on their door. Ask. We have social workers - they’re allowed to do home visits.”
Ms. Pioli continued, “With some of our schools and the way that they’re districted, transportation is a huge issue for parents to get all the way on the other side of town at 5:00 pm to go to a PTA or Board of Ed meeting. So I always push that you have to go into the communities who aren’t involved, and find out why they’re not. You can’t expect them to go to schools, because they’re already disengaged. We can keep inviting them, but if you’re not on the ground where they are in their community, then no one’s paying attention [to their needs]. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned: to re-engage the community, you have to go where they are.”
Jackie Pioli feels that the make-up of the board doesn’t represent all of the neighborhoods in Stamford.
“The reason why I’m running for the Board of Ed is not that I’m a politician or that I want to be Mayor or on the Board of Reps. It’s that I’m a parent, I’m concerned, and the Board of Education needs to represent the parents who are in the schools.”
Currently, there is only one Board of Education member who still has children in Stamford Public Schools. In addition, Jackie’s opponent and current board president David Mannis has never had children in the public school system.
Ms. Pioli circled back to making important connections with families: “It’s one thing to go to bi-weekly board meetings, but another to actually be on the ground and talk with people. And I believe that that’s the best way to communicate and get our needs as parents back to the Board of Ed.”
Jackie Pioli is a graduate of the Stamford Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) and the Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (Parents SEE) class. She is highly active in local school issues, and has actively attended the Stamford Board of Education meetings for the past three years. She served on the Rippowam Middle School behavior committee, the district’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee and SBRI pilot program, the Parent-Teacher Council, SCOPES and many more volunteer roles.
With a professional background in the banking industry, she left to help advocate for her son who has special needs, through which she found her calling and became an educational advocate. Jackie Pioli is invested in education, not only as a public school parent, but also as a proven leader who stands up for children and families.
An endorsed Democratic candidate by the Stamford Democratic City Committee, Jackie Pioli has also received the endorsement of the Stamford Teachers Association.
Jackie Pioli is the only gun safety candidate on the Stamford Board of Education ticket. The Stamford ballot is two sided, and the Board of Ed ticket is on the back, in which there is only one seat open for a Democrat. The ENOUGH Campaign recommends you choose ONLY Jackie Pioli to advance her past her Democratic opponents. Vote for Jackie Pioli for Stamford Board of Education this Tuesday, November 6.
To learn more about Jackie Pioli, go to https://www.pioliforboe.com.
Find your polling location here: https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx
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Photo above: President Obama speaks in Hartford, CT.
Blossom Hill Photography