Independent Oversight Committee Asked to Assume Propaganda Role
The Emery School Board has commissioned a study, culminating in a plan of action called the Center of Community Life Three Year Strategic Communications Plan at a cost of $17,000, meant to mollify criticisms that the School District has not effectively communicated with citizens about the Center of Community Life. The Plan calls for the independent State mandated Citizens Oversight Committee, a bond money watchdog group, to effectively become a political propaganda arm of the School District. In addition, the Plan identifies the Emeryville Tattler as a problem the Oversight Committee and other "team members" need to avail themselves of.
The Communications Plan, the work of the San Francisco based public relations firm Davis and Associates, identifies the State mandated independent Citizens Oversight Committee (COC) as a partner in the "negative story rapid response team", and charges the Committee with joining together with the School Board and the City Council to quickly control damage from any less than glowing stories that might appear in the Tattler or any number of other negative public relations problems from a list compiled by Davis and Associates.
If the Citizens Oversight Committee were to actually engage in this activity it should be noted, it would constitute a violation of their charter as mandated by the State of California however. The State makes this sort of propagandizing for Citizens Oversight Committees verboten.
The introduction of the Communications Plan at the February School Board meeting was met with criticism from an Anna Yates Elementary School teacher who said it would subvert real communications, calling it a "marketing plan, not a communication plan."
The Three Year Strategic Communications Plan was funded by Measure J money according to School District officials.
Davis and Associates would not return calls for this story.
On site accidents or incidents witnessed by the public
Further deterioration of the state’s fiscal situation which would affect funding