Allen Brooks was the winner of a special election that was held to fill a vacant Area 3 seat on the Board of Education for the Merced City School District.
Brooks beat out the only other contender, Adam Cox, by garnering 60.47 percent of the vote. Cox was a former MCSD trustee who left the position last year but decided to run again. The overall vote total in the election was 1,032. Area 3 residents had through Election Day on Aug. 31 to cast their votes.
The full, five-member MCSD board now features Brooks, Birdi Olivarez-Kidwell, Shane Smith, Jessee Espinosa and Jessica Kazakos.
The 43-year-old Brooks grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended Grambling State University in Louisiana on a football scholarship where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. There he met his wife Sheila, and the couple moved to Merced, which is Sheila’s hometown.
Brooks ran for Merced City Council in November, and played a huge role in the protests in the summer of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd.
Brooks is a local Real Estate agent and president of the NAACP Branch in Merced.
Brooks said he wanted to run for the MCSD board because he desired to work with the board to give children an equitable education and to be a voice for the people.
“I want to make sure the schools and districts are up-to-par,” he said recently during an interview with the Central Valley Voice. “Some of them really need a facelift. I would like to make sure that the schools that the students are attending are updated. I think it’s unfair that some schools have better and updated technology while others do not. We need to talk about the physical equity of the schools. …
“Literacy is the main issue because if that’s not taken care of it leads to other problems. I would allow the teachers a chance to tackle the issue of literacy.”
Brooks continued, “We need to improve the communication between schools, parents and teachers. Parents need to learn how to trust the schools more. As a parent I’m sending my child to the teacher and my student is there more than he is at home. So we need to improve the communication lines between the students and know what the goals are and what the needs are to get them there.”