A need for change is what drove Al Galvéz to politics and become a trustee on the Madera County School Board.
That same attitude is what Galvéz wants in his campaign for District 2 representative on the Madera County Board of Supervisors. Voters will make the decision between Galvéz and incumbent David Rogers for the non-partisan seat at the June 2 primary. Rogers is running for a third term.
Galvéz, 61, also the Madera Unified School Board president, is a former public affairs director for PG&E. He has lived in Madera for 37 years.
District 2 covers mainly the rural areas of Madera and Chowchilla.
Galvéz, who was elected to the school board in 2014, said he became a trustee to help students. He wasn’t pleased with students’ test scores and said a change was necessary.
“The reason why I ran for school board is because I thought things were fractured. I felt the district was doing the same things over and again,” said Galvéz..
“I’m not an educator or county employee either, but in District 2, we don’t have representation. How do I change that? I need to run for this office. My skill set in public affairs is needed in District 2 in Madera.”
Galvéz added that in his first year as a trustee, he spent about 35 hours a week working in the district.
His wife, Rosalinda Galvéz, is an educator for 37 years, 35 years in Madera County. Born in Bakersfield, Al Galvéz, a Fresno State graduate with a degree in business administration, moved to Madera in 1981. The couple has three grown children.
Al said, if he’s elected, he wants to engage constituents, make himself available, while improving on other conditions in the district, such as fire station closures. He also wants roads in the district to be improved.
Driving through portions of District 2, where Galvéz resides, construction signs are posted amid the improvement of road conditions. Al, a former farm laborer, worked construction during the summer months away from college with his father in the Bakersfield area.
He said Madera Unified is the second-biggest employer, second to Valley Children’s Hospital.
“There’s about 2,000 employees, and over 20,000 kids. I bring certain qualities, professionalism, organization, and engagement. I can back it up,” he said, “I’m not doing it for the pay. I wouldn’t have retired from my job, or worked on the school board.”
As a supervisor, he wants to make sure fire stations are no longer closed, additional law enforcement patrols are added to the district, the water issue and budget control.
“It’s not paid. I wanted to be engaged. I go to schools, meetings, even having lunch with second graders. I want to make sure staff understands that I’m involved. I’m going to bring that same kind of professionalism to the county.”
Last year, the school board fired former superintendent Edward Gonzalez. Galvéz said he wanted to turn the district around despite rumors and even a petition that would have recalled some school board members.
“My colleagues, and I, we became a unit. I sat down with my colleagues, we became professional and organized. We can disagree, and if we want to yell at each other, we do it privately,” he said, “Under the threat of being recalled, the board unanimously agreed, replaced superintended with an interim.”
After the replacement of González, a unanimous decision, the board hired Todd Liles as interim superintendent, but he has since taken the official role of superintendent.
Galvéz boasted over district’s new Dual Language Immersion program, saying it’s a needed project, and the necessity to address educator’s requests for issues, such as repairs.
Occupation: Retired, current Madera County School boardmember
Party affiliation: Democrat
Campaign website: pledege4galvez.com