In less than 7 days, we will be wrapping up the 2013 Consolidated Election. Unfortunately, most races are uncontested. There are a few that are in fact contested, including the Parkland Board of Trustees and the Unit 4 Board of Education. This post will focus on the latter, but the theme I wish to put forward is “embracing change.” To that end, there is only one candidate for the Parkland BOT that effectively meets that criteria.
You will be voting on April 9th, right?
For the Champaign School District, there are 5 candidates running for 3 seats (each are four-year terms). One of my desires in writing this post is to join in and aid the ongoing discussion about these candidates; it is exceptionally difficult (if not impossible) to be purely objective, so I am throwing in with my subjective thoughts as well. Some of you will disagree with me, maybe even strongly – that is good. I invite those who disagree to speak up. That’s the whole point. (NOTE: I already voted so I am not engaging in this conversation for the sake of figuring out who I want to vote for). Overall, I think each candidate has good intentions and brings something to the plate. The question is, do they bring what you want?
Chuck Jackson: I have written before about Chuck, whose campaign I am very much involved with. He brings a desire for improved and enhanced bilateral communication, which of course I am hugely in favor of. 🙂 Chuck helped me out with pitching a proposed change to Board Policy to include Conversational Meetings last year. He has a bit of good experience and rapport with teachers and a true desire to see all kids excel, not just the ones for whom our current educational models work well.
Lynn Stuckey: Lynn is the only candidate who has been attending board meetings “forever”. She obviously has a passion to speak up as a community member, a quality I respect very much. As such, some people will consider her stance and approach as either very good and much needed, others will think she is hard to work with. To me, they are different sides of the same coin; personally, I think she could really shake things up, which I find a very interesting prospect. She is very good at doing her homework and researching the facts, and then telling people about it whether they like it or not.
Laurie Bonnett: Even when I was running for the board appointment last year, I respected that Laurie not only is concerned about her constituents (granted, she is not serving in a public capacity but is employed for an elected official) but she has a bit of experience, in a number of different contexts, in listening to and interacting with her constituents. It is interesting that she has slowly evolved her platform closer to themes that I want to see in a board.
John Williams III: (EDIT: Updated with new website) In all my interactions with John, I have been pleasantly pleased with his congeniality and open nature. I respect that, like current board member Jamar Brown, John Williams is very concerned about discipline issues within Unit 4. Some may ask, is discipline really that big of an issue, big enough to invest in two African-American men on a board of seven people? Given all the racial issues that exist in our society, given the overwhelming disproportionate number of people of color in various forms of correctional systems, I have to say “yes!” Read the rest of this entry »