I found a candidate forum (just when you thought we'd just quietly mark our ballots and call it a day).
Tuesday, September 29th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
GHS PTSA Candidate Forum, Garfield High School
Now, I can find no real info on this forum (I got this from Kay Smith-Blum website) and it is coming up soon. I'll try to find out more.
FYI, if you are interested, Kay's website does have some updates. I can only say she'd be a miracle worker to implement all the initiatives she posts. It's a little unclear what her main focus would be. Again, I wish she was running for public/private partnership czar and not School Board.
Meanwhile, Mary Bass, Betty Patu and Wilson Chin have no updates or calendar events available. (Kay's calendar does also include all the house parties and gala events she will be at in case you want to attend.)
Also, on Seattle Channel there are interviews with all four candidates. I highly recommend you watch them.
In the Bass/Smith-Blum interview, both women came off well. Mary was pretty impressive in explaining herself (although she didn't get asked about the difficulty of reaching her in any meaningful way). I have to be frank, though. Kay was asked about her many ideas and how to get them implemented. I am quite surprised how easily she thinks things can happen.
She said, not once but twice, that money can be reallocated right now. She says we could reallocate money right now for early childhood education and that we could just hire a language teacher for each elementary school and extend the day. With what money? Her answer to that is somewhat breathtaking in its simplicity. She says that of a $550M budget that we cut 10% (she says she knows as a business person it can be done - well, in the public sector that's probably true but much harder). Then, she said the budget gap is $24M and that leaves us with about $26M that could go to fund her new programs. And, that with the money from some programs in the Families and Education levy (which she said could find "other revenue streams"), there's more money.
I'd like to see her tell that to the Superintendent and staff. I'd like her to tell the people who programs that are part of the Families and Education levy how they find these new revenue streams. Look, I have no doubt that we could forge more public/private partnerships but for any new program to work there has to be a long-term vision and long-term funding (Mary said this and I agree). Even the New School Foundation has a deadline for funding South Shore.
There was an odd moment when the host of Seattle Inside Out, CR Douglas, asked Mary about her endorsements and said that James Kelly, the head of the Urban League, hadn't endorsed her and endorsed Kay. Mary smiled and said he had never endorsed her before and she hadn't asked for his endorsement this time. I found this weird because it almost seemed like Mr. Douglas thought that Mary, as a black candidate, should have had the endorsement of the Urban League president. I don't follow this line of thought and I believe Mary handled it well. (Additionally, Mr. Kelly is a somewhat controversial figure and I have to wonder about wanting his endorsement.)
As for the interview with Wilson Chin and Betty Patu, all I can say is that the Southeast lost and lost big time when Charlie Mas didn't clear the primary. They both gave the most bland, banal, lackluster answers I have ever heard. The only real thing I got from it was that Betty agreed with some of Dr. Goodloe-Johnson work but not all of it and Wilson said that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson admits mistakes. I'm not recalling when Dr. Goodloe-Johnson has admitted a mistake but I could be wrong. I think Charlie is right on who to vote for here; if you want someone like Mary Bass (although likely not as well-versed as Mary), vote for Betty. If you want someone like Cheryl Chow, vote for Wilson Chin (although I like to think he's not quite as stubborn in his positions as Cheryl but with these answers, who knows?).