Jilly Gokalgandhi
Press Release

Jilly Gokalgandhi Announces Candidacy for District 5 of the Milwaukee Public School Board


By - Nov 12th, 2020 09:00 am
  • Gokalgandhi is endorsed by School Board President and current Representative of District 5 Larry Miller
  • Jilly for MPS Campaign aims to champion progressive ideas and policies to empower Milwaukee Public School students, teachers, and families

MILWAUKEE, November 12, 2020 / Today Jilly Gokalgandhi announces her candidacy for District 5 of the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) Board of Directors for the upcoming election on April 6, 2021. Gokalgandhi is endorsed by School Board President Larry Miller, the current representative for District 5, who will retire in April.

In declaring her candidacy, Gokalgandhi reflects on the central role education played in her life early on: “I am who I am today because of the high quality public education I received when my family moved to the United States. It’s my responsibility to fight for access and opportunity for all of Milwaukee’s students – that’s why I’m focused on advancing progressive solutions that empower teachers and provide students and families with the resources they need to reach their full potential.”

Gokalgandhi’s campaign, Jilly For MPS, highlights six core issues:

  1. Supporting schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the health and safety of students, families, teachers, and staff.
  2. Providing equitable funding to attract and retain high-quality dedicated teachers, support special education and English language learners, and provide needed classroom supplies and technology.
  3. Promoting anti-racist and culturally-relevant teaching to protect and celebrate our diverse student body and community.
  4. Incorporating a shared leadership model to ensure all stakeholders collaborate in decision-making.
  5. Creating an inclusive initiative for women and gender-non-conforming students to thrive inside and outside the classroom.
  6. Protecting public education and opposing privatization.

“Jilly brings the energy, vision of progress, and significant education experience – inside and outside the classroom – needed to make things happen,” said Larry Miller, MPS Board President and current representative for District 5. “I am pleased to endorse her as my replacement and I am confident she will continue championing the progressive ideas and policies that lead to real change in our community.”

A multilingual, millennial immigrant with diverse background experience in many aspects of education, Gokalgandhi is uniquely qualified to serve District 5 families. Through her career she has served inside an MPS school as a Community School Coordinator, where she learned the daily operations and parent and community engagement needed for success. She has worked in educational policy, grant writing, and securing funding for youth workforce development programs. Gokalgandhi has direct experience building support and pathways in STEM education.  Her community and philanthropic leadership includes: volunteer service to the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, the Milwaukee Hub of the Global Shapers Community, STEM Forward Board, and City Year Associate Board. She is currently a Strategic Partnerships Strategist for American Family Insurance, where she focuses on building the K-12 Diverse Tech Talent Pipeline strategy, and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Marquette University.

As an immigrant, woman of color, and community activist, Jilly Gokalgandhi will bring her lived experience, deep commitment to social justice, and professional background to her school board role.

Milwaukee Public Schools is the largest school district in the state of Wisconsin, educating over 74,600 students across 159 schools, and committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The MPS Board of Directors consists of nine members and works to oversee decision making, the budget process and overall operations of the school district.

Vote Jilly for MPS during the primary election on February 16, 2021 and general election April 6, 2021. For more information, visit www.jillyformps.org or contact the campaign at jillyformps@gmail.com.

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