Re: Does it matter who gets elected?
- Hello There
I am a parent, and one person who voted YES on all those
taxes you homeowners pay for the rebuilding of our schools.
As I look back, my only reason for voting YES was to give
my kids better schools and I thought very little about
the taxes because I was NOT a homeowner. Did not bother
to educate myself any further on that issue. Only when
the District re-introduced Measure J to the voters did
I finally vote NO.
At the last election when there were two available seats
on the school board, I made the very first INFORMED vote
of my life in regards to school board members. I was
so impressed with one candidate that I walked a precinct
to get the message out. INCUMBENT = NOT NECESSARILY A
One must examine the fact that people make UNINFORMED
votes for something like school board members. People
vote UNINFORMED regarding taxes if it is clear it does
not affect THEM PERSONALLY.
I do agree with you about this being the most important
school board election in years. However, until voters
see this and make an INFORMED choice,
we will see folks continuing to attempt to remain on the
school board for over 10 years. How has this person stayed
on the school board? My take is that he is running on the
"familiarity" of his name only. That is living proof voters
do not make informed choices when it comes to school board
Now we could argue that point also, being that an INCUMBENT
(George Harris III) who received MANY big endorsements and
had several fancy flyers sent home in the mail to all the
voters - well he LOST. That was hope to me that people are
starting to pay attention.
And regarding all your other questions raised in your post,
I don't know about any of that. Let me tell you, it is hard
enough for "politically concerned parents" such as myself
to stay on top of ensuring their kid
gets the education that the State promises them. I learned
more volunteering @ my kid's school and being on the school
than in my attempts to be involved by attending
school board meetings and appealing to our board members.
It only takes 3 to make a majority on the board, however
these 3 must be in agreement on what they want to focus
on. With the exception of Dave BRown, I have never seen
any of the board members bring items to the board for
their consideration. Even
when they are fully aware of certain problems at the sites
(such as site council members not receiving information on
site budget) no one seems to have the guts to do anything
about it. Or they are acting with the knowledge that they
are POWERLESS over these things. and therefore do NOTHING
about it. If that is the case then I agree with Scottie Smith's
statement. It will not matter who gets elected.
--- In email@example.com, "troubled_h2o" <axharris@...>
> It disturbed me to be told at a recent meeting of the Richmond
> Greens that Scottie Smith says it doesn't matter who runs for
> board, because the school board has no power. That is not true,and
> let me tell you why.from
> Did you know that the voters in our school district have chosen to
> tax local homeowners almost a billion dollars- yes that's billion
> with a B- over the next 30 years? Do you know that not one dime
> of that money can be used for books or teachers salaries? Aside
> from that, did you know that the disbursement of that money is at
> the sole discretion of the school board?
> Yes, folks, our school district has the second richest building
> program in California. Yet, how many city council candidates
> Hercules to Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond and El Cerrito are aware ofenvironmental
> the scope of that program and the potential social and
> impacts in their respective cities?green
> How many of the school board candidates have a plan to support
> building policies and sensible attendance patterns?union?"
> How many of YOU are aware of the defacto social engineering that
> certain of our school board members have slyly implemented over the
> years to the detriment of many of our neighborhood schools?
> I served on the school board for four years, and people sometimes
> ask me , "How important is an endorsement from the teachers
> My answer is this: candidates who have been handpicked and
> by the teachers union will not necessarily make good school boardsalaries.
> Yes, we all love teachers. When our teachers call us to action,
> voters, citizens, and community-members strive to influence policy
> in any way we can to improve their working conditions and
> However the elected school board has very little influence over
> union contracts; the state-appointed trustee in this district is
> real power behind what the teachers and other employees get paid,and
> and most of the available money already is already allocated for
> Please make an effort to meet the candidates before the election
> to query them on the following crucial questions:issues,
> X What experience do you have in school construction
> and how will you ensure healthy and green construction?that
> X How will you use our federal money to ensure English-
> language proficiency in our high schools and middle schools?
> X How will you get rid of clauses in our UTR contract
> consistently force many of our schools to open with too fewrestructure
> X Will you direct the superintendent to hire middle-school
> curriculum experts so that our students are prepared for high
> X How will you direct the new superintendent to
> the district so that college-bound students actually receive thethat
> support they need?
> X How will you get rid of provisions in our non-teacher
> contracts that force the district to guarantee full-time jobs to
> part-time and temporary employees even when they are incompetent,
> anti-social or unethical?
> X How will you purge our district of ingrained policies
> perpetuate failure?the
> And the most important question of all:
> X What specific knowledge do you have about my neighborhood
> school, and what do you plan to do to make it better?
> Does it matter who gets elected to the school board? It matters a
> great deal! The district has a brand new superintendent, and with
> three of the five school board seats up for grabs, this might be
> most important election in the past fifteen years.
- In response to your question: Charles Ramsey continues to get elected
because he empowers a large constituency of voters who do not otherwise have
access. He reaches out to them and makes himself available. He answers his
phone calls. He keeps his promises. Any other complaints you might have
about the man cannot negate those simple facts.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Poster "axharris"
You are getting off topic with your personal endorsement
of Charles Ramsey.
You claimed to be bothered by someone saying that it
doesn't matter who gets on the school board, I was merely
offering a perspective as to why one may think that. It is
regretable that you did not get that part, only my mention
of some voters simply voting for a person because their
name is familiar to them.
My opinion on Mr. Ramsey is a separate issue as well, that
is why I chose to LEAVE IT OUT OF MY REPLY to your post
as it was off the topic of discussion entitled:
DOES IT MATTER WHO GETS ELECTED?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, <axharris@...> wrote:
> In response to your question: Charles Ramsey continues to get
> because he empowers a large constituency of voters who do not
> access. He reaches out to them and makes himself available. He
> phone calls. He keeps his promises. Any other complaints you
> about the man cannot negate those simple facts.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Dear Madam:
you asked << How has this person stayed on the school board? My take is
that he is running on the "familiarity" of his name only. >>
My comments on Ramsey were a simple response to your question which I
quote above, and therefore were "on topic."
I am not using this forum to campaign. I just want to see the
candidates discuss some of the issues which I consider crucial to the
improvement of the district.
As you pointed out very well in your post, parents do the most good at
the elementary level by volunteering at their child's school site.
Furthermore, I assert that the best thing a parent can do to insure
success in high school is to help their child learn the times tables
cold before the end of third grade. If every person within arms reach
of this forum makes sure that comes true for every third grader they
meet, I would be happy.
That seems so very simple and self-evident to me, yet I was unable to
have this included in the grade-level expectations for third grade math
when they were established. I would happily endorse and campaign for
any candidate who can demonstrate a background in mathematics or math
curriculum development instead of the meaningless blah blah blah I
heard at the EC Democratic Club endorsement event. Unfortunately, no
such candidate is running this year!!