Take Back Our School Board

Between now and May 2021, Progressive Salem will focus all of our efforts on replacing the radical right-to-life Republicans who have taken over the Salem-Keizer School District Board of Directors.


This takeover began in 2015 with the election of Marty Heyen and continued with the election of Kathy Goss and Jesse Lippold in 2017. In 2019 the takeover was completed with the reelection of Heyen and the election of Danielle Bethell and Satya Chandragiri. All of these candidates received major campaign funding from Oregon Right to Life and they ran stealth campaigns to hide their far right loyalities. The Board is now led by Chandragiri (Chair) and Bethell (Vice-Chair).

The Board failed to do anything to sanction their member, Paul Kyllo, who wore a blackface mask throughout an entire Board meeting last March. They have turned a deaf ear to hundreds of students, parents and teachers who have been demanding an end to the School to Prison Pipeline. They refused to read a proclamation for Gay Pride Month, and Marty Heyen even stated her belief that sexual orientation and gender identity was a "lifestyle." They were openly criticized by Superintendent Christy Perry for not listening to students of color who make up the majority of students in the district.

This May we can begin to take back our School Board. We can replace Kathy Goss and Jesse Lippold and Paul Kyllo with progressive candidates who will listen to our students and teachers and really apply an equity lens to all of their decision-making. We can break the stranglehold that Oregon Right to Life and the Marion County Republicans have now on policy-making for Salem-Keizer schools. This task is urgent! 

Progressive Salem is part of a coalition to find qualified candidates that we can support who will take back our School Board from Oregon Right to Life and the Republican Party. In the meantime we will use all donations to Progressive Salem to help get out the vote for these candidates. Please make a donation today to the Take Back Our School Board fund by clicking on the Donate button! And stay tuned for more news about our efforts to Take Back Our School Board.

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1260 21st St.

Salem, OR 97301


Note: All photos on this website predate the COVID-19 pandemic.