Eduardo Sousa is running for one of the seven sets on the Cowichan Valley school board.
A Portuguese immigrant and father of three school-aged children, Sousa said he wants an opportunity to serve the community.
“I believe in the rights and dignity of all; the responsibilities we have to, and for, one another; and the urgency of kindness in these fractured times,” he said.
“I am very civic minded and community-oriented, having served on boards and with non-profits, including the Cowichan Green Community’s board, the City of Duncan’s advisory design panel and official community plan committees.”
Sousa said that among his priorities is to help foster a learning environment where students and their “teams” – teachers, parents and mentors – are empowered to be their best.
He said this means prioritizing inclusion, safety, poverty reduction, healthy relationships and reconciliation with Quw’utsun people, lands and waters.
“As well, addressing the unspoken effects of the pandemic must be a focus for our school board,” he said.
“It is not business as usual.”
Sousa said children need to be prepared for the climate crisis through K-12 dialogue and by instilling a sense of hope.
He said there are solutions, and the children have the power to create their own.
“I also want to review and update policies to ensure facilities and operations are climate ready,” Sousa said.
“The current board’s strategic plan, while very good, falters in this area.”
Sousa said trustees must also apply budgetary due diligence with integrity, compassion and a curious mind.
“We must consider how we obtain and/or re-allocate funds to address possible emerging mental health issues in students and teachers, and to nurture in all schools across the district meaningful reconciliation programs that go beyond land acknowledgements,” he said.
Sousa said trustees must commit to holding themselves accountable to the investments and decisions they make as a board to ensure great outcomes for the district’s learning communities.
Sousa can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EduardoGeorgePimentaMedeirosSousa