We speak with Mike Gottesman, founder of New Jersey Public Education Coalition (NJPEC), a grassroots organization that educates and activates NJ citizens in school districts to protect the integrity of schools from conservative extremist groups. NJPEC organizes on-the-ground support for community members and provides information for school board candidates. In its first year, the Coalition has grown to 1500 members along with subject matter experts and partner organizations.


00:00-00:42 Intros

00:42-02:19 Reasons for starting NJ Public Education Coalition

02:19-03:35 Hot button issues

03:35-05:11 Sex ed curriculum issues

05:11-06:19 10 committees/tactics

06:19-09:45 Observing districts, engaging parents

09:45-11:17 Educational road shows

11:17-12:47 Engaging seniors

12:47-13:20 Title IX

13:20-16:16 Examples of engagement in districts: Millstone, Hamilton

16:16-18:24 School board meetings

18:24-19:28 Working with (but not endorsing) school board candidates

19:28-24:22 Contacting legislators, drafting legislation

24:22-26:24 Increasing voter turnout

26:24-27:46 How to contact NJPEC

27:46-28:41 Contacts with groups in other states

28:41- Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode. 


Photo by NJPEC

Soundtrack by Poddington Bear