The following is a questionnaire sent out by The Bee to candidates for the November 2009 election. Candidates supplied the answers, and they are being published it their unedited form.
What is your full, legal name?
Joshua Michael Vander Veen
What name do you prefer be used in print?
Josh Vander Veen
What office do you seek?
Modesto City School Board Trustee
What is the primary reason you are running for this office?
I believe that education is the cornerstone of our society. If one can improve the education system they can have the greatest impact upon the community as a whole.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
School funding is not adequate, but there is no immediate funding increase on the horizon. It is for this reason that we must come together as a community and improve our children's education together. My single most important priority will be to facilitate this shift towards community involvement.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I am set apart from the other candidates in a few different ways. I am 24 years old. This youth gives me the energy and enthusiasm to accomplish great things. In addition, my degree in organizational communication gives me a unique view of how to eliminate waste. Last, I have spent time working at the Capitol in order to gain a complete understanding of how the political system works. I will provide the Board of Education with the voice that has been absent for too long.
Where do you work and what is your job title? (If retired, list position before retirement)
Trader Joe’s, customer service associate
What date were you born and where?
March 23, 1985 in Modesto, CA
What is your spouse's name, if any?
Chelsea Vander Veen
What are the names and ages of your children, if any?
Please list the schools and colleges you attended, the degrees you attained and when.
Modesto Christian High School – High School Diploma 2003
Modesto Junior College – Associates of Arts in Transfer Studies 2007
California State University, Sacramento – Bachelor’s of Arts in Organizational Communication 2009
Have you ever held an elected or appointed public office? (Include dates and office title)
Appointed to the Stanislaus County Library Advisory Board, January 2009-Present
Have you run before for an elected public office? (Include dates and exact office title)
Approximately how much money do you expect to spend on your campaign?
I expect to raise and spend less than $5,000 for my campaign. In order to run a school district on a tight budget one must be able to run a campaign on a tight budget.
Have you ever been convicted or charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation? If so, please explain and include dates and locations.
Have you or a business you owned or had principal interest in ever filed bankruptcy? If so, please include dates and the location the bankruptcy was filed.