Rocco Trigueros is a COPE candidate for Vancouver School Board. Join COPE to help elect Rocco and all the other COPE candidates by signing up here.
What is your background and experience? What work have you done in your life or community that is relevant to the office you're seeking?
My professional life has been dedicated to children and youth. I worked for the City of Vancouver as a Latin Youth Worker for six years, creating safe spaces for immigrant youth in 15 secondary schools. Previous to that position, I helped run youth programs at Trout Lake Community Centre. I’m currently an Educational Assistant Level 3, specializing in children on the spectrum. Having worked in the school system for seven years, I’m aware of the many needs that students with learning disabilities encounter within public education, and have an understanding on how we can achieve better outcomes.
Currently, I am part of the CUPE BC committee Pink Triangle, where we pushed to end conversation therapy that affects many children nationally. I am also part of the CUPE BC international solidarity committee, where we started a national motion to stop the incarceration of immigrant children in Canadian detention centres.
My multicultural immigrant background, my belonging to the LGTBQ2S collective, and my work experience in the field of autism together make me sensitive to the education needs of children and families. As a School Trustee, I hope to be a strong, consistent, articulate advocate for children, families, teachers, and the public school system as a whole.
What do you like about COPE and why do you think you’ll be a good fit for COPE?
I’ve been a member of the COPE Executive for the past three years. I strongly believe that COPE is the only party committed to fighting for the working class, the immigrant population, and the marginalized groups that are constantly oppressed, exploited and displaced by the ruling class. We represent political action with no ties to the economic elites who are constantly undermining public services.
What are the big issues you want to highlight during the election campaign and work on while in office?
As a member of the Vancouver Board of Education, I will work to ensure that:
1) Children of undocumented immigrants have official (not discretionary) access public education.
2) As a person who suffered from bullying for my sexual orientation at school, that all staff involved in public education are provided consistent education and professional development to meet the needs of LGTBQ2S+ students (and staff) who are affirming their identity, gender, pronoun, and sexual preferences.
3) The board redoubles their ongoing anti-racism practices and education, as xenophobia is increasing in our country.
4) Any corporate money that is compromising the public education agenda is removed from the system; I will advocate for proper school funding from the government.
5) Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions are top-of-mind in all levels of our public education, including at decision-making tables.
6) The Universal Meal Program for Children is protected and expanded.
7) Political education and participatory democracy is cultivated within the school system, allowing students the power to make political decisions and to prepare for their future leadership.
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