Local News

Alan Fernandes enters school board race

By From page A1 | April 13, 2014


On Friday, Alan Fernandes announced he will be a candidate for appointment to the vacant Davis school board seat, to be selected by the board at a special  meeting on May 8. He also will be on the ballot as a candidate for the school board in the November election as the appointee will serve just through November.

“I am applying for a trustee position because the work I set out to accomplish of rebuilding the district for a sustainable future remains,” Fernandes said. “Our district is at a crossroads with the implementation of the Common Core (academic standards), the enactment of the (state’s) Local Control Funding Formula and the recent adoption of the (school district’s) strategic plan.”

Fernandes, who participated in the school district’s recent strategic planning process, added: “I believe it is important for there to be representation on the school board from someone who was a part of the important work of the Strategic Planning committee. This will ensure that the recently approved mission statement and five-year strategic plan is implemented as intended by the broad cross section of our school community that created it.”

Fernandes announced the endorsement of his application and candidacy for the vacancy from community leaders such as Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and Yolo County Supervisors Don Saylor and Jim Provenza, among other elected officials, community leaders, parents of school children and others.

“I am optimistic about the future of our district and would be honored to serve the people of this community in rebuilding our schools
for the future,” Fernandes said.

Fernandes is a husband, and the father of two young boys. Highlights of his volunteer service in Davis schools include: member of the school district’s Strategic Planning Committee; member of the school district’s Parcel Tax Citizen’s Oversight Committee; participation in the Birch Lane Elementary School Site Council; as well as the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Special Education. He also has been a classroom volunteer.

In addition to his service in the educational arena, Fernandes has volunteered with other community groups, including: board member of Cities, Counties, School (a statewide organization focused on finding collaborative projects among local governments); and board member of Yolo County Suicide Prevention. He also has been a Davis Little League coach, among other activities.

Fernandes’ professional work experience includes jobs in both the private and public sector. He has published on topics such as effective government advocacy, including a Law Review article on the topic of Ethics in Government; he occasionally is requested to speak on these topics. In addition, he has served as a pro-bono attorney on multiple occasions, particularly in capacities representing parents or organizations interacting with public schools.

Fernandes spent much of his youth living in the San Francisco area, attending public schools. His family moved to Sacramento when he was a teenager, and he graduated from Christian Brothers High School, where he later coached a high school freshman baseball team and participated in many moot court teams.

He came to Davis in 1993, attending UC Davis as an undergraduate majoring in political science. He graduated in 1997. Fernandes worked briefly at an investment firm, then became a student at the McGeorge School of Law, receiving a J.D. He practiced private law with Nielsen Merksamer for several years, representing public sector clients and specializing in public and government law. He then took a job representing the County of Los Angeles in Sacramento, he is currently that county’s chief legislative advocate.

Fernandes has been interested in school district issues for some time, and was a candidate for the school board in November 2012. He garnered nearly 9,000 votes in that election — a tally that in many years would have easily won him a school board seat — but there were only two school board seats on the ballot, and Fernandes (who was running for elected office for the first time) finished a close third.

In November 2014, there will be four school board seats on the ballot.

Jeff Hudson

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