CPC Parent Union’s Third Annual Parents, Not Partisans Summit

CPC Parent Union’s Third Annual Parents, Not Partisans Summit


More than 150 parent advocates, school board members and school board candidates from 28 counties across California attended CPC’s Parents, Not Partisans Summit in Sacramento in March for two days of training, networking and advocacy at the State Capitol with our allies at Protection for the Educational Rights of Kids (PERK). The third annual summit has nearly tripled in size since its launch in 2022. The demand for the summit was so high that California Policy Center expects to double attendance next year.

“We heard over and over again this week that there is simply nothing comparable in California that provides this type of support and resources to parent advocates,” said CPC’s Lance Christensen, who moderated the 2-day event.

“The opportunity for pro-parent leaders, school board members and candidates to build relationships with like-minded advocates and elected officials is incredibly important,” Christensen added.

“When advocates know that they’re not alone but there are hundreds if not thousands of friends waiting to be found, good things happen for our children. The momentum coming out of the summit was phenomenal.”

On Tuesday, Connor Boyack, president of Utah-based Libertas Institute and author of the popular Tuttle Twins children’s book series focused on liberty, kicked off the morning sessions. Boyack was followed by panel discussions on effective grassroots advocacy at your local school board and during an election year.

Afternoon sessions focused on media relations and pushing back against teachers unions and special interests. A star-studded panel on parental notification policies featured Assemblyman Bill Essayli, parental rights champion Sonja Shaw, president of the Chino Valley Unified School Board, and firebrand Erin Friday, who is co-leading Protect Kids California’s high-profile statewide ballot initiative.

On Wednesday, summit participants attended morning sessions on advocating effectively at the State Capitol, then headed to legislative offices to put their new skills to work. Parent advocates met with legislators in their home districts and education committee members, including Senate Education Committee Vice Chair Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh and Assemblyman Josh Hoover, who serves on the Assembly Education Committee.

The feedback from attendees shows just how important the summit has become to education reform and parental rights leaders.

“This conference gave me insights which aren’t accessible to me during my usual board work. It encouraged me to speak up during board meetings even if my opinion isn’t reflected in the majority opinion.” – School Board Members

“So much excellent information. [It is] great to be in person with so many people doing important work.” — Former City Council Member from LA County

A parent advocate from Los Angeles called the summit a “powerful meeting,” and an El Dorado County participant said it was “so amazing to encourage and engage. Don’t quit!”

The summit kicks off the next eight months of work that CPC is launching across all of its projects to educate and empower Californians before the November election to push back against a political system that’s been dominated by government unions and other special interests for too long.

“We’re building the deep bench of citizens, candidates and local elected officials who are in it for the long haul,” said Christensen. “California’s problems weren’t created overnight and they’re not going to be resolved overnight. But people are coming together and doing the hard work to save our education system and strengthen our communities for the next generation of Californians.”

The Parents, Not Partisans Summit would not have been possible without the support of generous CPC donors and our sponsors: PERK, California Parents for Public Virtual Education, and Californians for Equal Rights Foundation.

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