The Media Center is proud of two Peninsula “favorite daughters” who continue to achieve recognition for excellence in public service. We will be re-broadcasting recent shows produced locally in honor of them. Martha Kanter recently appeared on Cupertino-based THE BETTER PART which we air weekly on Channel 30. And Eileen Richardson was featured on The Media Center’s own FACES of LOCAL HEROES series produced last year.

Last week it was announced that Martha Kanter, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District has been tapped by the Obama Administration to be Under Secretary of Education. Ms. Kanter has served as chancellor since 2003 and prior to that was President of De Anza College for ten years. Ms. Kanter has transformed our Community College District so that our local community colleges have become “destination” colleges attracting wonderful and dedicated teachers who change lives, with administrators who minimize the red tape so our young people can get the education they need. Students at our local colleges are overwhelmingly positive about their experiences there. Apparently Washington has noticed the difference Ms. Kanter has made. We’re sorry they’re snatching her away, but when she sets Washington on fire with her progressive ideas, the whole nation will benefit.

Additionally, in 2005 Eileen Richardson founded the Downtown Streets Team in Palo Alto. Her organization provides work for homeless people in Palo Alto. In exchange for keeping our streets clean, homeless workers receive housing vouchers. Ms. Richardson was voted a LOCAL HERO in 2008 and featured in a Media Center-produced program. Already nearly 100 Streets Team graduates have turned around their lives and found permanent employment, housing and a second chance. Last week, the Downtown Streets Team was named one of our nation’s “Top 50 Government Innovations” by the Ash Institute at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The honor will garner the organization national attention which will bring with it more public awareness and most importantly more funding opportunities. Even without the additional boon of national attention, Ms. Richardson’s model has been emulated by dozens of cities across America. Now even more communities will be made aware of this effective and enriching way to deal with one of our nation’s most pressing social issues.

The Media Center will be re-cablecasting shows featuring both of these innovative women, starting Sunday, April 19th on Channel 30. Please check out the schedule pages for:

THE BETTER PART – Martha Kanter
FACES OF LOCAL HEROES – Eileen Richardson

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