Monday, August 29, 2016

Thank You to Two People Who Cared

I want to note the passing of two people in our city who were activists.  I applaud anyone who takes on advocacy work, whether it be for community needs, schools or government.

One person is Bob Santos.  From the International Examiner:
Community leader "Uncle" Bob Santos passed away on the morning of Saturday, August 27. Born and raised in Seattle’s International District, Uncle Bob spent most of his life fighting for civil rights and blazing a trail for generations of activists as a mentor, community leader, and organizer. During his time as executive director of Inter*Im from 1972 to 1989, a number of key nonprofit organizations in the Asian Pacific Islander community were born.
Mr. Santos is the husband of public education champion, Rep. Sharon Tomiko-Santos.  Given the outpouring of love and thanks and acknowledgement of his work, I think this a great loss to all.

The other person is Cheryl Bleakney who served on the Seattle School Board and was Board president from 1971-1981.  She was president of the board at the time that school busing was approved.  She also served with one of the longest serving board directors, Ellen Roe (another force to be reckoned with.)  The entire board received the "Citizen of the Year" award in 1978 from the Muni League.  Mrs. Bleakney died eight days short of her 85th birthday.

(I happened to find this SPS document of everyone who has ever served on the Board.  I also discovered this dissertation from December 2009 by Jennifer Marie Hehnke who was in grad school at the University of Oregon.  It's called The Politics of Racial Integration in the Seattle Public Schools: Discourse, Policy, and Political Change, 1954-1991.  I haven't read it yet but I'm going to.)

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