A Santa Maria educator is plunging into politics and hopes to make waves with his big ideas about how to stop climate change.
Mark Pierce, who works as a disciplinarian at Santa Maria’s Pioneer Valley High School, has officially filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2020.
“We’ve had 11 past presidents who were educators,” Pierce said, adding that his more than 10 years with the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District has helped him transform into a leader.
Like presidents Adams, Filmore, Taft and Obama, Pierce wants to graduate from his role as an educator to president of the United States.
He decided to bypass lower level political offices, like city council or mayor, the state legislature or even governor, because he said time spent in those roles of lower authority would waste precious time combating climate change.
“Sometimes you don’t choose the time, the time chooses you,” Pierce said.
Pierce, a registered Democrat, believes time is running out to address climate change. He argues the impacts of climate change correlate directly with issues of employment, crime, and the economy.
“Offering a healthy economy both for business and for Main Street,” Pierce said. “But we have to get our climate figured out in order to make the economy be fruitful.”
Pierce, who moved to California over 20 years ago, rolled out his first paid television ad earlier this week.
He believes the solution is a 100 sq. mile-wide geo-platform stationed 30,000 miles from Earth, an idea he said he first heard from Pres. Obama.
“What we need to do is create a barrier between earth and UV rays coming through the ozone hole,” Pierce said.
Since launching his campaign, Pierce said the students he sees at school are paying closer attention to politics.
“Someone they know, an adult who will put an advocacy forth for them, they appreciate it,” Pierce said. “I had a former student, saw him yesterday, he was filling up with gas. He said, ‘Mr. Pierce, he, I’m voting for you.’ It’s like wow, OK.”
In regards to a lawsuit Pierce filed against the school district several years ago, in which he alleged he was demoted for reasons of racial discrimination, he said the litigation was essentially a wash.
“I don’t regret my decision to stand up for myself,” Pierce said.
Pierce said so far, his campaign has raised about $8,000, which he’s donated himself.
He also has aspirations to be a filmmaker and said he recently produced a horror film.
Pierce previously worked in corrections.