Sunday, October 30, 2016

Does Your Vote Matter? Yes, It Does

According to the Seattle Times, the latest Elway poll has the race for state superintendent of public instruction at a dead heat between Erin Jones and Chris Reykdal.  A lot of undecideds out there.

I think like many of the down ballot judicial races, many people have no idea who to vote for for state superintendent.  You may have friends who don 't have kids in school and/or don't necessarily pay attention to public education issues.

Help them out and tell them how you are voting for state superintendent.

Again, I'm supporting Chris Reykdal.

I believe he has the best skill set and background.  He is a steady presence and supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle as well as by top leadership at OSPI.  He has been endorsed by the Network for Public Education that was started by former deputy secretary of education and noted educator, Diane Ravitch.

From the very beginning of this race, I talked to both candidates and found them both capable and caring. I have said that over and over about Jones.  But I do not believe she is ready for this job.

She's had several missteps in representing her positions especially around LGBT students and on the issue of charter schools.  She's had to backpedal and rephrase and now one supporter says she didn't have as much time as Reykdal to answer one set of questions from one group. Because of that one LGBT group and The Stranger rescinded their endorsement of her.  That's a big deal.

One ed reform tip-off?  Another supporter calling Reykdal "the status quo."  That is absolutely one of the dog whistles for ed reformers.  Is Reykdal a legislator? Yes.  Was current superintendent, Dorn? Yes.  Does that make them exactly alike?  Of course not.

She also clearly has charter supporters on her side and I can only say from watching races around the country for the last couple of years, that those people do not invest in candidates that they don't believe will support their cause.

Because of that polling, you might consider telling your family and friends who you are voting for in this race.  I hope that choice  - the best choice - is Chris Reykdal.

20 comments:

Observer said...

I'm telling my family to support Jones. I think this quote is salient: "So let me reiterate, watching you, a black woman, get raked over the coals while your opponent somehow rises up without a dent in his reputation in a city as white and privileged as Seattle is deeply unsettling."

South Seattle Emerald

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will say that I do not believe race has anything to do with this race. Jones is very charismatic and capable.

I think that Reykdal doesn't have a "dent in his reputation" because he has stayed true to his stands. If there was something to find out about him, I think that would have come out by now.

It could be that Jones may have just misspoke (several times) from not having run for office before. I don't know. But I have never seen groups take back endorsements in a race.

That those endorsements came from LGBT groups that surely include people of color makes that charge of this being about race not ring true.

Kathleen S. said...

I find it truly troubling that Jones hired Stand for Children's former lobbyist for fundraising purposes. Two of Jones's large contributors (Nierenberg and Alberg) have contributed $75K to Stand for Children, and an adviser to DFER hosted of a fundraiser. Jones can't help that SFC PAC is supporting her with an $165K, but she absolutely didn't have to hire SFC's former lobbyist.

I'm voting Reykdal:

Reykdal was born to parents with an 8th grade education and he was poor. Attending public school was his ticket out of poverty. He has been a teacher, school board member and elected official. His career extends into higher education.

With a MPA, Reykdal served on the House Finance Committee, House Ed. Appropriation Committee and was the vice -chair of the House Ed.committee. A large portion of the state budget flows through OSPI each year($10B). Chris is the candidate with the experience, skill and knowledge to manage this office. The last 3 SPI have endorsed Reykdal because they understand the complexity of the job and understand that Reykdal has the skill to manage this office.

During his time in office, the legislature has increased per pupil funding $2K. Reykdal does not take credit for this,but he was part of a legislative body responsible for shaping policy and appropriations. As well, he did not vote in favor of the biggest tax break in history because he understood the tax break was bad for our education system.

During Chris Reykdal's five years in the State House of Representatives, he prime and co-sponsored several bills to help our kids, foster children and educators -- it was one of his main policy focuses. Some of the issues Chris worked on was extending foster care benefits beyond the age of 18, improving supports for disabled students; de-linking high-stakes assessments as a graduation requirement; upgrading youth mental health services; increasing pay, benefits, and recruitment incentives for educators; closing the Opportunity Gap; expanding Dual Credit opportunities; protecting student data privacy; and increasing supports for our homeless students.There are thousands of jobs and Chris seeks to create Career and Technical pathways for students.

Reykdal's commitment to public education is unquestionable. He has is frustrated by an over-reaching federal government that seeks to impose corporate reforms .Reykdal has a history of standing up to the feds and I believe he will do so, again.

Anonymous said...

"Reykdal was born to parents with an 8th grade education and he was poor. Attending public school was his ticket out of poverty. "

Just started reading this blog To dispel stereotypes of HCC parents as "affluent". My mother was born to immigrant parents with an 8th grade education and grew up poor. Dad's father died when he was a young child and was raised in the S bronx in a tenament building by a single mother, incredibly poor. Husband grew up very poor, single parent earning minimum wage. My husband and I were first in our family to become (Um barely) middle class and go to college. We both are white (well actually I appear white, but am only 1/2 European) and have a child in HCC.
-Dispelling myths

Anonymous said...

While we can differ on which candidate will be the better SPI if elected, each look far better suited for that job than Trump or Clinton are for the Presidency.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

I was voting for Reykdal, but based off this blog comments I'm switching to Jones. I think Jones understands the real issues facing kids and districts. Reykdal only cares about the teachers and their union.


Clear choice

Melissa Westbrook said...

Clear choice, if you think anyone believes that, good luck. Just say you are for Jones in the first place. (And fyi, Jones said that she would be looking at the work as superintendent thru a "teacher's lens" so maybe you might be less happy with her than you think.

Double Talk said...


Jones states she doesn't support charter schools. Then, she states "we just can't say HELL NO to charter schools..."


My stance has always been - I do not believe charter schools are THE answer to closing the opportunity gap. I was concerned that in this season of incredible gaps in funding, we should not be having conversations about funding another system. I have said I believe all schools should answer to the public. With that being said, we can't just say "HELL, NO" to charter schools without a willingness to address the ever-growing achievement/opportunity gap and the school-to-prison pipeline, which are ravaging communities of color in Washington state."

Anonymous said...

What's said in a campaign guarantees nothing for the future. Anyone who votes and pays attention to the results months down the road knows this. We get burned again and again. Instead, look at money, endorsements, and how a candidate changes their mind on an issue and you'll come up with your choice. Voting for a woman because she's black, voting for a white man who grew up poor? One rather cancels out the other in terms of perceived worthiness, doesn't it? Voting in symbolic terms is meaningless.

Westside

Observer said...

"I will say that I do not believe race has anything to do with this race. Jones is very charismatic and capable."-I don't think, as white people, we get to decide what does and doesn't have anything to do with race.

City Employee said...

Melissa gets it right:

"That those endorsements came from LGBT groups that surely include people of color makes that charge of this being about race not ring true."

Anonymous said...

When Stand on Children endorses a candidate, that's not a candidate who is all-in for public education.

CT

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well Observer, I'm not totally white so yes, I think I can chime in.

Anonymous said...

Strong support for Jones from my LGBTQ friends who are also POC, particularly passionately from a black man. It was part of what swayed my vote.

--SE mom of many

Voting Reykdal said...

clear choice does not understand Reykdal's experience. Reykdal worked on was extending foster care benefits beyond the age of 18, improving supports for disabled students; de-linking high-stakes assessments as a graduation requirement; upgrading youth mental health services; increasing pay, benefits, and recruitment incentives for educators; closing the Opportunity Gap; expanding Dual Credit opportunities; protecting student data privacy; and increasing supports for our homeless students.There are thousands of jobs and Chris seeks to create Career and Technical pathways for students. Chris Reykdal's commitment to public education is unquestionable.

He was one of 13 legislators that had the courage to stand-up to Boeing because he understood that the biggest tax break in history would not be good for education.

Kathleen S. said...

Campaign update:

In addition to Jones hiring Stand for Children's former lobbyist (Kainber) for fundraising prposes, SFC continues to throw dollars into Jones's race. The PAC is now contributing a total of $177K.

Vote Reykdal.

Observer said...

Stands For Children is also supporting Mark Mullett, a Democrat in opposition to Chad Magandez, an anti-mccleary Republican. Should we oppose Mullett too?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I don't like either Mullet or Magandez but Mullet is the lesser of the two evils. Sometimes you have to pick.

In the case of the state superintendent race, there is a clear and better choice - Reykdal.

Voting Reykdal said...

Stand for Children supports Mullet because he is a charter school supporter. Did Mullet, like Jones, hire Stand for Children's former lobbyist for fundraising purposes?

Erin Jones has received over $200,000 (roughly 1/2 her total money!) in individual donations and Independent Expenditures from a handful of very rich people who want to PRIVATIZE our public education system and use public school funds to open more charter schools in Washington.

Similar to the Supreme Court race, the Millionaires and Billionaires are trying to buy the next SPI. If you want accountability for YOUR tax dollars and fully funded public schools, vote for Chris Reykdal.



Voting Reykdal said...


"Stands For Children is also supporting Mark Mullett, a Democrat"

Observer,
Have you not noticed that Democrats are a bunch of sell-outs??