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This year’s most contentious election race goes to the…School Board.


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Updated 11/1/2021 to reflect Natalie Abshier’s “dramatic reading” of the article. 

Updated 11/3/2021 to reflect the Abshier family response to losing the election. 

 

For many, many years local races were barely a blip on the radar. A few civic or business-minded folks would run for their local city councils and school boards with little fanfare.

Over the last few years the GOP has been pouring money into local races. Just a few years back in Erie, they spent over $50,000 on behalf of Dan Woog’s mayoral bid (which he lost). This year is no exception.

As reported by NPR, there is a multitude of extremist right-wing groups seeking to take over their local school boards protesting mask mandates, vaccines, and Critical Race Theory, in spite of the fact CRT is not taught outside of college courses.

A look at the groups supporting school board protesters nationwide

Before the COVID Pandemic, the anti-vaccination population rate was somewhere around 8-12%*. Today, we are looking at 42% of American citizens who are still unvaccinated against COVID-19. When America was fighting mumps, measles, polio, smallpox this group of people never questioned getting a vaccine, but with the influence of Trump and many QAnon-type Republicans pushing a political agenda not based on science (and often lacking in facts), we are seeing individuals refusing this life-saving vaccine. With a rise in Delta cases, nearly 97% of COVID deaths are now the unvaccinated.

Which makes this movement to take over school boards to protest vaccines and masks for students even more concerning.

Boulder Valley School District is facing an effort to recall board members who voted for masks.

Anti-maskers are spreading a new tactic to challenge Colorado school boards: recalls

In St Vrain Valley School District the school board race heated up before anyone knew what was happening. Two candidates, Sarah Hurianek and Natalie Abshier are running for the same seat with two very different-looking campaigns.

Sarah, a teacher, and caretaker, is not active on social media, tells us she “is not a politician” and has had a relatively low-key campaign. Her campaign has mostly consisted of interviews with the local media and her website. She is a volunteer within the school district and has served on several committees.

SVVSD school board Director District F: Sarah Hurianek

Natalie, a local mom, and a business owner has run a much more electrifying campaign, including blocking people who disagree with her positions and statements against mask mandates, CRT (Critical Race Theory) and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), to insulting individuals including calling them trolls, and in one instance stated a constituent needed mental health help. In interviews, Natalie presents as logical and sound, but online, we see a different Natalie.

On her campaign website, she features a quote on Critical Race Theory by Christopher Rufo, a man who has been leading Republican efforts against CRT nationwide. Rufo is on record as saying that “The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.'”

On her candidate page she “pledges” she is here to advocate for all voices, and again states she is here to listen to all in a comment response.

Yet her social media actions show a very different Natalie, including actions like blocking and insulting constituents, to making “jokes” about race.

Telling this constituent to seek mental health help.

The final day to cast your ballot is Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021.

It is too late to mail it in but with Colorado’s fantastic voting system you can drop off your ballot at any of these locations:

BOULDER COUNTY BALLOT DROP OFF SITES

WELD COUNTY BALLOT DROP OFF SITES

You can reference YS Election Guide online if you want to learn more about all the races, however, these are just some of the reasons Yellow Scene Magazine has actively chosen to not endorse Natalie Abshier.

 

Ms Abshier responded to the article with this video post:

 

Natalie’s son’s girlfriend has been highly involved in her campaign and posted this on social media on November 2nd, 2021 in response to losing the campaign.

 

*https://ourworldindata.org/vaccination

*https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/immunize.htm

 

Author

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Shavonne Blades grew up on the West Coast but moved to Colorado in High School. She left for California after school and returned to Colorado in 1990. She got her start in media at the age of 21 in Santa Cruz, California as an advertising sales rep. Having no experience and nothing more than a couple of years as an art college attendee she felt the bug to work in media at a young age. She learned that by helping her customers with design and marketing, their campaigns would be far more successful and has made a 30+ year career in design, copywriting, and marketing for her clients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPy4MMdcfLg. She has always chosen to work in Independent Media and believes deeply in the need for true, authentic Community Journalism. She is proud that YS has never compromised journalism standards in its 20+ history and continues to print YS on paper monthly while also expanding web coverage. She has worked at 3 Alternative Weeklies and founded Yellow Scene Magazine in 2000. You can learn more about Shavonne's adventures in the YS 20th Anniversary issue: https://yellowscene.com/2020/10/08/the-yellow-scenes-red-tornado/

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