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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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Tamalpais Union High School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Barbara I. McVeigh

Barbara I. McVeigh

Educator / Writer / Mother
10,572 votes (9.39%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Economic and Racial Respect and Equity - this is vital in our community today.
  • Environmentally progressive ideas - we are facing a crisis and our vision must shift into highly progressive and actionable solutions
  • Health and Mental Health - Our youth are facing an unprecedented time facing not only mental health issues, but physical health, too.



Dominican UC MA, Humanities (2017)


My civics lesson began at age 13 waiting for the FBI to arrest my father. My family stood in the 1981 National Strike of Air Traffic Controllers demanding fair wages and honesty in politics. We nearly lost everything as the media and government smeared my fathers union. They stood with no violence. Many of the union members were Vietnam Veterans who understood deeply what it means when you are used as a political pawn, as we were used in 1981. I can assure you the trauma a child feels when they believe the government is going to arrest your father. It took me nearly 30 years to reconcile that experience until I began to understand what it means, as the people, to stand up against what is wrong in a system. And that was a powerful lesson from my father.

I have spent a good amount of time traveling around the world to understand better the narrative I have been told. I lived in China, went to Cuba, spent time in Central America following the genocide of the Mayan Indigenous people driven by Reagan and Guatemalan President Rios Montt. I gained a deep understanding of the energy and environmental policies of the late 1970s that Reagan upended, leading us to our crisis today, a crisis that our children must face, which is nothing less than a crime by a generation and by political leaders.

I continued my experiences as a teacher, a journalist and a writer. I produced several films highlighting not only ocean issues that our children will face but hopeful stories to help us be inspired by what is possible. I also worked in the corporate world in a high managerial position responsible for large budgets. In addition, I worked on restructuring a failing nonprofit organization, stepping in to reshape programs, source funding and bring it front and center into the community.

I have a BA from San Francisco State University and a MA from Dominican UC. I was awarded Teacher of the Year at one of the most prestigious universities in China. My film projects have been supported by Schmidt Family Foundation, The "Do A Little" Fund and the Marin Fund, among others. I am the founder of the grassroots movement "The Jimmy Carter Jamboree" which has been supported by local city proclamation, county proclamation and a resolution from California State Legislature. The Former Russian President Gorbachev supported our efforts two years ago

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Coming from what I call the Irish working class/union culture, I rebelled against my own family's ethos and put myself through college. Our family slogan had been "why sit around and have someone tell you what to be. Go figure it out yourself." My grandfather was a successful aeronautic engineer and my great uncle a marine architect. Neither had spent a day in college. Instead, they had passion for life and learning. They were some of the most well read people I've ever known, and served us in WW2, being very politically astute. Though I had incredible respect for them,  I was determined to go to college, even though my parents, following the national strike, had little means for helping me. I ended up spending six years working my way through school, with the fortune of working with a lawyer of President Jimmy Carter's Administration. I graduated without a penny of debt, a near impossible task for students today. These years were formidable, diving into literature, language and ethnic studies. Four years ago I finished graduate school studing humanities and in the end, there was value in my family's mantra. I learned the more you learn, the more humble you become. You learn how much you don't know. Humility is valuable.

Following college, I spent a year in China teaching at the highly respected University of Nanjing emmersing myself in Chinese culture and politics. I gave many university lectures about our country's culture after first stumbling to recognize how little I understand our country and questioned my own public education because of this. It was an amazing journey to engage with some brilliant minds of those in China but also expats from around the world, including Africa, England and Spain. My take away was how much I love my home here in California, recognizing the opportunities and freedom we have, a freedom I feel is at great risk today.

Through other travels and intellectual pursuits, visitng Guatemala with a humanitarian project, exploring Cuba and The Balkans, I discovered many narratives contrary to what I had been taught in my public education This disturbed me greatly. What's more, I have found the deep hypocrisy between our political parities, such as not recognizing the genocidal wars of Central America under Reagan, a Republican, while a democrat Nancy Pelosi and our California Governor Newsome heralds him. What is far more disturbing is the environmental crisis, that which President Carter tried to stop in the late 1970s, a president who proverbially got thrown under the bus, as Reagan fast tracked us with policies that have destroyed our economy with trickle down economics, undermining labor unions, knocking down Fairness Doctrine Ruling and, again, cultivating criminal level wars in Central America that have not been reconciled to this date.

Today I live like the "working class" in Marin County, after separating myself from a life of privilege. I spent a great amount of time connecting to our Latin American community with photo projects, providing housing and building programs for the youth. I spent quality time with many in Marin City offering my photo skills and cultivating programs to serve the youth. I was blessed to engage with these two vibrant communities who do not get the respect they deserve and could show many in Marin the power of collaboration, community, art, culture and so much more. We must come together.

Marin has been my home now for 25 years. I have raised my children here and have lived with privilege and with economic hardship. What I want to see in our educational system and by the community is a time of reconciliation, coming together to recognize we can learn from one another and to embrace that value. I want to see our children to quest for supporting others instead of a constant strive for "success," a tag our schools too often use. Given we live in a community with one of the largest carbon footprints in the country, I want to see a shift, a rapid shift, into responsible living, showing our children that we really do care about their future. When they see us shift, they will get the greatest education in their lives. We are entering new times of food insecurity, potential war, obesity rates that the military calls a "national security threat" and climate change. We must be the change given we live in one of the most beautiful, bountiful communities of the world. This is my stand. And we can begin this shift in our schools.


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