Today, the nonpartisan, parent-led Coalition for Responsible Education in RE-2 filed 2,949 signatures with the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder to formally petition the recall of Garfield RE-2 school board member Tony May.
Voces Unidas Action Fund actively participated in securing hundreds more signatures than the 2,378 required to initiate a recall election for the former board president who has repeatedly abused the authority of public office over the past two years. The County Clerk now has 28 days to validate the required signatures, which will trigger a special election if May refuses to resign from the Board of Education.
If May resigns ahead of the Garfield County Clerk’s determination on the signature count, the remaining RE-2 school board members must appoint a successor to fill the resulting vacancy within 60 days. Several members of the community directly addressed the school board through public comments at its Jan. 24 meeting in Rifle, informing board members of the impending recall and requesting May’s resignation.
“Today, parents asserted their constitutional right by signing and collecting the required signatures to recall one of their elected leaders who has violated the trust of the community,” said Alex Sánchez, President and CEO of Glenwood Springs-based Voces Unidas Action Fund. “Tony May no longer has the confidence of the voters in RE-2 and he should resign to save the district more than $37,000 to run a special election. It is time to turn the page and start focusing on supporting all students.”
The Coalition for Responsible Education in RE-2 registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office on Nov. 1, 2023, officially kicking off the recall process. The coalition of local parents formed in response to May’s authoritarian push last October for the district to abandon the Colorado Academic Standards for social studies curriculum in favor of adopting the controversial American Birthright Standard social studies curriculum, which promotes religion while denying the role of minorities and immigrants in the history of the U.S.
Voces Unidas Action Fund also formally registered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office to hire canvassers to collect signatures. In addition, the organization provided the coalition with in-kind technical assistance and access to information of likely voters who would support the effort. Many of the staff of Voces Unidas graduated from or are current parents of students in Garfield County schools, including RE-2, where Latinas and Latinos make up a majority of the student population.
Latino students in Garfield County are, on average, 2.7 grades behind their white peers, facing a roughly 40% achievement gap on state standardized tests. As parents, alumni, voters and members of the community, Voces Unidas believes we have a responsibility to get involved and take an active role in our schools and local government. That includes holding elected officials accountable for taking concrete steps to address those disparities rather than prioritizing radical political agendas.
Voces Unidas Action Fund extends our congratulations and gratitude to all the parents and community leaders who collected signatures and signed the petition. We’re heartened by our partnership with community leaders - united in our belief that politics should never take priority over our students’ receiving a great public education.