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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Yosemite Community College DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 6

Photo of Leslie Beggs

Leslie Beggs

Community College Educator
23,839 votes (80.39%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Free Speech: I will focus on building a district culture of openness, respectful dialogue and honest opinion. I will also hold regular "office hours" to hear firsthand from students, employees and the public.
  • Academics & Jobs: I will focus time and resources on education and job training, not bureaucracy and feel-good programs.
  • Fiscal Integrity: I will focus spending on the district's primary mission: top-tier academics and job training. No more largesse for top administrators.



Profession:Community College Educator
Equal Rights Commissioner (current chair), Stanislaus County Equal Rights Commission — Appointed position (2005–current)
Adjunct English Instructor, Modesto Junior College (2013–2016)
Member, Civil Grand Jury, Stanislaus County — Appointed position (2005–2006)
Adjunct English Instructor, Modesto Junior College (2002–2003)
Adjunct English Instructor, Tennessee Technological University (1985–1991)
Adjunct English Instructor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (1985–1985)


Clemson University Master of Arts (M.A.), English (Literature) (1987)
Clemson University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English major; psychology minor (1982)
Modesto Junior College university transfer sequence;, liberal arts (1979)

Community Activities

Community Columnist/ Independent Contractor (Intermittent), The Modesto Bee (2002–current)
Member, Board of Directors, California Association for the Gifted (CAG) (2002–2004)
Served in chair, co-chair, or secretary roles,, Gifted & Talented Education (GATE) District Advisory Committee, Modesto City Schools (1997–2004)
Visiting Editor, The Modesto Bee (2001–2001)




Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Paul Neumann, former YCCD Trustee, Area 6, 2000-2008
  • Mark Vasche, Executive Editor & Senior VP, The Modesto Bee, retired
  • Nancy Williamsen, Superior Court Commissioner, retired

Individuals (24)

  • Jeremiah Williams, Community Leader/Businessman
  • Sue Hudgens, C.P.A., Grimbleby Coleman C.P.A.
  • James Gilbert, Manager, A. L. Gilbert Co.
  • Barry Courtney, Teacher
  • Gary Buckingham, Adjunct Instructor
  • Tony Albertoni, D.D.S
  • Gary & Shari Blom, Blom & Associates
  • Suzanne Hafeman
  • Jim DeMartini, Stanislaus County Supervisor
  • Rob Van Tuinen, Graduate and former President, MJC Pirates For Liberty
  • Alan J. Tanner, M.D., Neuroradiologist
  • Lynelle Loeb Solomon, Local Businesswoman
  • Calvin Olson, M.D., Gastroenterologist
  • Amy Hamilton Maris, Community Columnist, The Modesto Bee
  • Mike Kline, D.V.M., retired
  • Brian & Gina Indelicato
  • Caren Brady, French teacher, Downey High
  • Vito Chiesa, Stanislaus County Supervisor
  • John McCabe, Farmer
  • Barbara Jensen, MJC Instructor, retired
  • J. David Wright, Insurance Broker
  • Jim Maris, small business owner
  • Jeff & Tina Earl, YCCD Custodian
  • Anne DeMartini, YCCD Trustee, Area 4

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The job of a trustee is to conduct oversight, not act as a rubber stamp. Our loyalty should be to the mission of our college and the community we serve. A community college encompasses students, staff, faculty, and the larger community: Trustees should regularly listen to all those constituency groups firsthand, rather than allow these voices to be filtered through the chancellor or other executives. It's too easy for top administrators to control and shape the flow of information to the board, resulting in a clear disconnect between trustees and other stakeholders.

Unrestricted communication and open inquiry is essential to bridging that gap, as well as to the mission of the college itself: the education of our students. Intellectual development and problem-solving occur best within a culture which welcomes free speech; creative thinking withers in an echo chamber.  Truly open discussions put participants’ otherwise hidden thoughts and opinions to the test.  We might change someone else’s mind on a contentious issue and/or modify our own views.  We might also practice the art of politely agreeing to disagree -- a valuable skill for us all.

Along with free speech should come active listening. I will hold “office hours,” if I’m elected, to hear first-hand from employees, students and community members who have a stake in issues before the board. I’ll also research issues carefully, provide even-handed analysis, and do my best to be fair and thorough.  I will always evaluate expenditures and programs in terms of our colleges’ primary mission: teaching students and preparing them either to transfer or enter this very tight job market. 

I will provide an independent voice on the board -- a voice for transparent, ethical stewardship.

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