Q&A with School Board Member Linda Vega Sirop

Linda Vega Sirop

School Board Member | Allentown, PA

Linda Vega SiropTell us about your background. What are the experiences, including education, that make up the person you currently are?

I have been a community activist for over 20 years serving our disenfranchised communities and the youth. So I founded the Rilyc Community & Arts Nonprofit to provide programs to help create tomorrow’s leaders thru the arts. As well as being a Human Resource Manager for close to 20 years to bring equity into the hiring practice, I sit on 9 boards and work endlessly for my community. At this moment I am running a Magistrate District Judge race to bring equity into the justice system and work tirelessly with the youth that come before me.

What was your trigger moment and why this specific office?

My trigger was the curriculum audit in early 2019. The results of that audit told me I needed to do more, so I became an Allentown School Board Director to interrupt the nonsense, hold the administration accountable, bring fresh out-of-the-box ideas, and of course to be a voice for the community on this board.

What made you feel qualified to run for office?

I have worked with the youth for over 20 years, founded a nonprofit, and wrote the curriculum myself. But most importantly, I am one of these kids, I understand their challenges, needs, and successes.

Do you work full-time or part-time?

Should be part-time, but definitely feels like full-time.

Most people don’t know what their elected official does on a daily basis. What’s a typical day looking like for you?

Many meetings, making life-changing decisions, working on policy, and a lot of research.

Additionally, they might not know what their elected official is responsible for. What is your role in comparison to other elected offices on your level?

My role is responsible for making sure we meet the needs of our students, educate our parents, and work with the administration to make this happen in the scope of the curriculum, finances, building, programs, and policy.

What do you think people would be surprised to know someone in your position does?

Create or amend policy.

What are 3-5 skills needed to be successful in the elected office you served in/are currently serving in?

Motivation, leadership skills, common-sense approach, fiscally knowledgeable, and this is funny, but you must love to read, there is always a lot to read.

What’s the best part about serving in elected office?

When we accomplish something that is impactful to our students and parents. When I can see one of my goals accomplished because I know that the change for our students is long term.

What has been the accomplishment you’re most proud of while in office?

Amending policy 226, our students are now safe from being violated.

In terms of finances, how much money did you have to raise for your campaign?

For my School Board campaign, I raised about $3k.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who’s thinking about running for the position you serve/have served in their community?

My advice would be to come ready to work, there is no giving up when our Students’ lives and future are in our hands. Also don’t give up, learn and sometimes you realize that you can move forward to help in many levels of government.