Seattle Public School Board Candidate
As a proud Bernie Sanders Democrat, I am running this campaign as an Independent
In a democracy, we have civil discourse and create intriguing and dynamic debate to make decisions and move forward in a reasonable manner. I have a multitude of ideas and these will be many different conversations that I expect to have with the school board to speak and come to reasonable consensus on how to act to best protect and provide opportunity to Seattle students. Without dynamic dialogue, we will not move forward. I understand that the struggles for much of my platform will me a long and difficult road, but if we don't begin fighting for true student equity we will never achieve it.
Thank you for your support.
6/22/17 -- As a parent of children in Seattle Public Schools, Charleena Lyles was an important member of our community. I want to acknowledge the tragedy that took place in her apartment in Magnuson Park. While we do not have all the information, I am inclined to believe the police officers insufficiently prepared to interact with an individual they were aware of and knew had mental issues. What we do know is the system failed Charleena Lyles. I stand in solidarity with her children, students in the Seattle School District, her family, and her greater community. Please consider my platform for opening school and public libraries as overnight shelters for homeless and housing unstable students in Seattle Public Schools because with the death of their mother, we must acknowledge there is a possibility that her children may be housing unstable. They should have the opportunity to stay overnight at their school libraries to have a warm, safe, and dry place to stay and study. As we approach the summer season, this is another great reason to support a year-round school system so once we have library shelters established they can be used year-round by students. Tragedies like the shooting of Charleena Lyles do not just happen during the school year and making our school system more flexible and year-round will help students maintain structure when they may most need it. Thank you--solidarity with her surviving family.
6/21/17 -- As a grassroots Independent candidate running for school board, I am not raising any funds in this race. Thank you for all of those who asked how you can donate to my campaign. Seattle School Board is free to file to run in King County Elections and I am not obligated to raise funds for my campaign. Several candidates for this non-partisan position are raising funds and I encourage the voters to do their due diligence and verify that your candidate is not receiving corporate funds or campaign donations. I am proud of the campaign I am running, I seek a seat at the table to move the conversations on the achievement gap, racial inequity, and critical school funding into a more aggressive position to stop doing studies and actually take action on these important topics and so much more. I will be most proud of this accomplishment without raising any campaign funds. Please, I ask you all to tell your friends, family, and fellow voters to support my bid for Seattle School Board.
5/24/17 -- I applaud Washington State Superintendent Reykdal's "to-do" list that includes updating our state curriculum to include a second language in addition to English for all students K-8. I believe this is a great first step toward a deeper understanding of language and culture for our students, and I will fight for updating our language curriculum in Seattle to make sure as this magnificent program comes online we will be prepared for students entering high school that have nine years of second language under their belts--it will require a far more robust and fluent secondary language program for all students in Seattle schools. Other positive remarks on his "to-do" list include his support of no longer requiring students to pass a state test to obtain their diplomas, getting more students in high school to earn college credit in high school, and increasing the focus on counselors for 8th graders to really begin the long process of what they want to do with their lives so 8th graders can enter high school with a semblance of a vision and path. We do a poor job of utilizing counselors now because they're underfunded and overworked, which is sadly a common story in our school system. I look forward to hearing more about his plans to fully fund public education in our state.
I am a Pacific Northwestern personal banker in Seattle, Washington. I love running, kayaking, and listening to KUOW among many other activities. I am married with dachshunds Hansel and Wimbledon. In light of recent events with the election of President Trump and the values of his administration, notably Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, it is paramount that ordinary people step up for public office and agree to be a part of the change. My mother's family is from Vermont, and my father's family is from Mississippi & Louisiana, and my parents worked in nuclear and as a kid I moved to Tri-Cities, Washington. I was raised in Richland, Washington at the bend of the Columbia River in Eastern Washington. I have been a resident of Seattle since 2010.
I work at Inspirus Credit Union, the former School Employees Credit Union of Washington, and work every day with educators, school employees, and their families in order to find ways to help them save money in their personal lives. My passion for education and my sincere interest in advocating for Seattle students encouraged me to run for school board. In addition, having an employer that is a not-for-profit financial institution that cares as deeply about education as I do is a huge advocate for me in this endeavor.
Why I'm Running
I am elected member of the Queen Anne Community Council and I sit on the Parks Committee for Queen Anne and we have a member who constantly has back and forth with a Queen Anne elementary school and their school buses impact on the neighborhood. Buses are dirty pollutants, despite school contracts saying the buses will be propane (they are not) and the school bus drivers systematically keep them running causing noise and environmental pollution in the neighborhood. Additionally, the biggest issue was the number of buses--8 for roughly 60 kids riding the bus every day. The school stated because approximately 250 students parents signed up for bus services they must always have an abundance of buses available. In a time where we lack general funds for teachers, counselors, and supplies, I do not believe it is appropriate to be such a wastrel approach with our bus services. In order to ensure Seattle Public Schools is meeting its promise to provide equal treatment to all students, I still think it's important to have bus transportation services but also to look into auditing bus records halfway through the year to see if parents have changed their minds by sending out verification forms to all student riders parents and adjusting the number of buses available based on the updated number of riders so the school district can effectively save money in the short term. Eventually, in the long term I would hope to find more efficient forms of transportation for the students like increasing access to ORCA cards from existing programs sponsored by the city.
It's important that the city elects school board members that reflect our culture and values, and in our changing city I think it's important to understand the well-intentioned parents that run for school board often times are weighed down by the requirements of parenting and the bias of seeing the school district through the lens of their own children that can actually misguide the direction of the school district. Anyone who runs for school board has a passion for education and obviously wants to do the right thing and make a positive impact, but it will take initiative and an unwavering determination to more aggressively demand more from our state and federal legislators. It's important to find ways to cut overly bureaucratic spending so we can begin investing in modalities that will truly show our support of our educators, like subsidizing rental housing for teachers and increasing teacher pay. In my opinion, simply because something unconventional has never been tried before does not mean it won't work nor does it mean we shouldn't try it. Our city is teeming with smart, vibrant, and ambitious people and as our city has embraced nation-leading policies such as $15/hour, work toward universal daycare, and paid family medical leave shows me that the voters of our city have an appetite for ambitious policies. Additionally, Seattle Public Schools became a leader in the fight to change school times to allow high school students sleep in later and elementary school students start earlier based on their biological clocks. Logistically, the work has just begun on that and we will need to continue holding a steady hand to continue allowing that policy to be implemented across the school district.
"Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry"
- Susan B. Anthony
"It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.
Ultimately, that's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try to talk with one in real life. If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America - and in Americans - will be confirmed."
- Barack Obama, Farewell Address to the United States 1/10/17