What ever happened to civility in politics?

Getting Bullied, Harassed, and Hacked...

This entire article was published in the San Diego Jewish World on October 22, 2018

SAN DIEGO — The world of politics is extremely rocky and campaigning can bring about “dirty” practices.

I am running for Board of Trustees of the San Dieguito Union High School District, SDUHSD.  The reason I got involved is because I realized that today students are the most vulnerable stakeholders in the education system. Schools exist for students, but often are not run in the best interest of students. Decisions are often based on best interest of school officials, donors, and district’s special interest groups.

I feel a deep compassion for today’s students.  They are overworked, overloaded, and overtired.

Their needs are being dismissed and ignored. I want to empower students. I want to be a voice for them.

I was motivated to launch a startup, Let’s Speak Up www.letsspeakup.org, focused on empowering and advocating for students’ safety and well-being. I have also compiled an extensive research paper on the unlawful practices of school officials that have normalized child abuse.

School officials cover up sexual assault and harassment incidents. 1 in 8 students are subject to sexual abuse. 7 in 10 students are victims of bullying.

John Salazar, a current SDUHSD trustee board member, inspired me to run after witnessing my passion and love for kids.

I selected “Empower Students!” as my campaign message.This means seeing the world from students’ perspective and developing solutions to address their needs so they can lead a confident and successful life.

Since I launched my campaign in early September, I had been shocked of the dirty tactics and bullying used against me.

It started with infecting all my websites with viruses on a regular basis for 2-3 weeks straight.  A few hours after we restored them, another virus would be injected to redirect my websites to some junky website. This prevented visitors from accessing my campaign website, www.vote4lea.org, and my other business websites as well.

From the onset, I began to receive anonymous emails that my signs are an “eyesore to the community” and “how dare you have the nerve to trash up our community with your obnoxious signs?”

Then another series of emails, from a known entity, began harassing me with derogatory comments including “Was photoshop used for your face?” I politely requested the individual to email me ONLY if I violated any laws. He proceeded to say “You talk like one of those witches in Frisco or New York???  Are you from the Middle East?” I warned him that if he continued to email me I was going to report it as a harassment. He replied with “I have excellent relations with our local government and police.”  I was forced to file a police report and finally the emails came to a halt.

On the San Dieguito Teachers’ Union Facebook page, we captured a conversation among the union candidate, who is one of my opponents, and her supporters. Mrs. Gibson’s supporter stated that my signs are more visible than hers. Another supporter offered to her to remove my signs. She did NOT denounce the act publicly in that conversation. It ended with her saying “Thank You, Katrina!”

One of my volunteers has been harassed and attacked while distributing door hangers. A middle-aged man charged with a wine bottle in his left hand and aggressively demanded for her to remove the sign. She did and apologized.  He then proceeded with

“Do you understand what soliciting means?” “Are you stupid?”

“I know whom you want to sell, it is again Lea Wolf”,

“Do you want me to call the police”, “Do you know what you are doing is a crime”,

“If I see you here one more time….”, he was rocking forward while saying so.

Finally he raised his left hand up with a bottle. She was terrified and kept apologizing.

This incident left her threatened, distressed, and frightened.

I recently received a phone call from a “gentleman” that my flyers and business cards are prohibited to be distributed. I asked for his name. He refused. I thanked for the call and hung up.

Several have called me and asked me what party I belong to. Are you a Republican? If yes, I am not voting for you.  Are you a Democrat? If yes, I am not voting for you.  Do you support the unions? If yes, I am not voting for you.  Do you believe in God? Who is your accounting firm?

I don’t understand why people act like this. I am extremely transparent about my beliefs, intentions, and always ready to have open and honest conversations. I fully embrace diversity of opinions. After all, I am part Israeli, a country with over 20 political parties. We ask hard questions and discuss politics and other controversial topics freely.

I host daily meetings where community members meet with me to ask questions, voice concerns and share their stories. I enjoy understanding their positions so we can collaborate and make decisions with a positive impact on students.   I’m an Israeli-New Yorker who is extremely outspoken and direct. Some may take offense at this approach, but I believe the best way to effectively solve problems is by communicating openly and honestly.

My signs, on a regular basis, are still being removed, stolen, trashed, stepped on, and thrown over the fence while the other signs remain mounted. Worse yet, I have had several of my friends inform me that their signs were removed from their private properties, not in gated communities or part of any HOAs.

We called the city to see if there were any violations with the placement of our signs. They said no. They informed us that if community members file a complaint they would send us a letter and remove the signs. We have not received any violation letters from the city.

On a regular basis, I order new signs and replace the missing ones so I can continue educating voters on the importance of empowering students.

These cowardly and bullying acts have been a huge distraction, emotionally distressing, time consuming, and highly costly since I am financing my own campaign.  It’s time we make a cultural shift and stop using dirty tactics.

A Member of the Carmel Valley Community Shared With Me Her Story, KW 92130 

“This is really sad to hear about. I met her about three weeks ago at a CCA function, I was disheartened to hear about the email trash she was getting. I travel quite a bit for work, and one morning (really early 4:30am or 5:00am), I was heading to the airport. I pulled up to the stop light at Carmel Country Road and Carmel Canyon Road, I was turning left (to head to the 56). There was a lady across the street on a bike with a head light and it caught my attention because she was on the grass (standing) with the bike propped up between her legs. She was trying to throw what appeared to be a sign over the brick fence (I didn’t see who’s sign it was). She fumbled it several times before she got the sign over the fence. I was shocked to see this, who was clearly an adult. I shined my brights on her, to let her know that I could see her. She hopped on her bike and rode away very quickly. The folks on Cavallo street must have their backyards littered with signs. As homeowner, I would be very upset with people trashing signs in my backyard.”

San Dieguito Teachers Union Facebook

Harassement emails

“ Taxpayers and students need an independent representative who will look out for their interests…
a parent of a district student…with fresh ideas.
Lea is an outspoken voice for students and their parents… one of the few that dares to speak out.
Lea has the courage, commitment, and integrity to be a student-centered trustee.”

John Salazar, SDUHSD Board Trustee

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