“As a parent, my hope for my son’s future is rooted in the quality of education he receives in our schools. The betterment of our children’s education is my priority, and it’s why I’ve decided to run for school board.” Steven Carrillo, 2011 Campaign for School Board
My son is now 19, a 2018 graduate of Santa Fe High School. He began his education in Santa Fe at Wood Gormley elementary. What I said in 2011 is as true today as it ever was and it’s how I feel about all of the children in Santa Fe Public Schools. This is why I’m running for reelection. I want to build on eight years of success – promises made and promises kept – and to continue to work hard to ensure that all of our kids (regardless of zip codes, gender, identity and country of origin) have the same opportunities to be happy and prosperous in their lives.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles to middle-class parents, parents who were children of the Great Depression. It’s from them that I learned the value of hard work, education, thrift, and service to others. Raised primarily by my mother, it was instilled in me at an early age the importance of social responsibility and civic action. I graduated from Loyola High School in 1977, and in 1981 from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in film and television arts. But life had other plans for me.
In the early ’80s, I became very involved in efforts to end U.S. involvement in Central America. My activism in standing up for what's right, led to anti-nuclear work, walking across the United States in 1986, Ukraine in 1988, and landing in Washington, D.C. I completed a program through the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and spent the next year on the road in Mississippi, Illinois, Georgia, and Massachusetts organizing unions. This profound experience - organizing workers in lumber mills, hospitals, universities, and nursing homes and working in board rooms and on picket lines - shaped who I am today and cemented my commitment to standing tall and firm for social justice, equality, and equity. My work in organized labor led me west, and on March 6, 1991, I ended up here in Santa Fe. In 1994, I declined to go on the road again. I found home.
Over the next fifteen-plus years, I worked in the food & beverage and hotel management industries; I built extensive experience in managing employees, budgets, and regulatory compliance. All of these skills are highly relevant in my successful last two terms on the board. As a former business owner, I fully understand the importance of effective public schools in fostering economic development for the betterment of our city.
When you work in community organizing, on collective action in unions, and with a variety of employees from all walks of life, you learn how to work together, to listen to all sides, and to reach the best possible solution. To truly listen and collaborate, it's essential to hear all voices even if some are louder than others. On our school board, my advocacy and passion for the success of our kids and our schools had never wavered.
I’m not running for higher office. I was never here to serve four years and move on to what’s next. My public service is not a hobby. It is my calling. I’m effective here. I’m making a difference. I’m on the board of education because I believe that public schools are the foundation of our democracy. I will continue making a difference in the lives of our students. I’m running for reelection because it is my experience, institutional knowledge, and commitment to our public schools that give me a unique long-game perspective. I've seen what works and what has had to be revised. It’s my solemn promise to continue to serve our kids and our schools to the best of my ability.