Why does $20 million matter? The Foundation Shares Inspirational Scholarship Stories – GV Wire

The celebration of the Fresno Unified Schools Foundation could easily have been around philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s $20 million gift.

David Taub

Policy 101

While the unprecedented donation was the subject of Thursday night’s gala at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, the focus was on how the money will be used.

Against the backdrop of giraffes and elephants, the foundation’s executive director, Wendy McCulley, and board member, Misty Her, gave a personal and moving testimony about how far the scholarship money goes. studies can go.

She spoke of the sacrifice her family made – her father gave up medicine to save money for college. A $3,000 scholarship she received from various groups helped her buy books and find accommodation.

“I made a conscious decision to be smart.”Wendy McCulley, Executive Director of the Foundation for FUSD

McCulley also shared her story growing up in poverty in Memphis, Tennessee.

“When I was six, I decided I wasn’t going to sing or dance. I wasn’t going to play sports because I didn’t want to be stereotyped. Instead, I made the decision aware of being smart,” McCulley said.

“But there wasn’t much left for college or college dreams. After the $96 a month, my mother got child support for three children. There was no way I had ever made it to Harvard or through Harvard without the generosity of others.

The foundation is relatively recent, less than a year. About 60% of school districts in the state have a fundraising foundation like those found in Fresno, Clovis, Central, and Sanger districts.

Above: FUSD Superintendent Bob Nelson and Fresno Deputy Police Chief Mindy Casto. Below: Fresno Housing Authority CEO Tyrone Roderick Williams makes new friends. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Also in Politics 101…

  • Poll says Pazin leads Soria.
  • What others are saying about Ruthie Quinto’s dual role.
  • Navkaran Gurm is still a democrat in good standing.

Pazin leads Soria in the poll

Despite a +16% Democratic advantage, Republican Mark Pazin has a four-point lead in the polls for Assembly District 27 over Democrat Esmeralda Soria, 41%-37%.

Pazin unveiled Public Opinion Strategies’ poll of 400 likely voters, conducted from September 28 to October 28. 2, with a margin of error of plus/minus 4.9%.

Pazin, a former Merced County sheriff, and Soria, a Fresno city councilwoman, advertise on television. Both tout their public safety credentials.

“Soria also used taxpayer money to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with far-left ‘defund the police’ congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Soria can claim law enforcement support, but it cannot hide his progressive activism that hampers law enforcement and public safety,” Pazin’s campaign said in a press release.

Soria visited AOC in 2019 to apologize for a derogatory video the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team played at a game that year.

The Assembly District covers parts of Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties.

The Soria campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Survey data can be found here and here.

An update on Ruthie Quinto’s two jobs

Ruthie Quinto

Neither a professional organization nor her other employer has a problem with Ruthie Quinto working similar jobs in two cities.

Last week, Quinto — deputy city manager of Fresno — was named acting comptroller, head of the city’s finance department.

She is also the treasurer of the beach town of Malibu in Southern California.

“The City has considered the issue and holding the two mandates does not in itself create a conflict with Ms. Quintoas Treasurer of Malibu,” a City of Malibu spokesperson told Politics 101.

Mike Mucha, deputy executive director of the Government Finance Officers Association, also finds no fault in the arrangement.

“I see no conflict with someone simply holding positions in two governments, as long as the person is able to qualify for both positions,” Mucha said in an email.

Mucha said governments need to be more creative in attracting and retaining talent, including remote work and job sharing.

Gurm is still a Democrat in good standing

Navkaran Gourm

Navkaran Gurm, a local Democratic Party activist and county central committee member, pushed back against a motion that could have removed him from the leadership.

A motion to discuss the violation of party regulations was removed from the agenda at a party meeting last Wednesday.

Gurm and others were in hot water for supporting Republican Susan Wittrup in the Fresno Unified School Board race. It is against party bylaws to support a non-Democrat. The school board race is officially non-partisan.

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