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Monday, June 04, 2007

Candidate Filing this week

Candidate filing opens today and closes on Friday, June 8.

Anyone wishing to run for School Board needs to file this week.

There are four Board seats up for election this year:

District I, North Seattle. This seat is now held by Sally Soriano. She has announced that she will be seeking re-election. There is one other announced candidate for this seat, Peter Maier.

District II, North Seattle. This seat is now held by Darlene Flynn. She has yet to announce whether she will be seeking re-election. The announced candidates for this seat include Sherry Carr and Lisa Stuebing.

District III, North Seattle. This seat is now held by Brita Butler-Wall. She has announced that she will not be seeking re-election. The only announced candidate for this seat is Harium Martin-Morris.

District VI, West Seattle. This seat is now held by Irene Stewart. She has announced that she will not be seeking re-election. The only announced candidate for this seat is Steve Sundquist.

I am deeply concerned that at least two of these elections has only one candidate and the other two elections may have only two candidates. The candidates in the one horse races have not put forward any indication of how they would act on the Board. This is EXTREMELY dangerous.

I cannot stress this enough: These are anyone's races. Any person could step forward this week, present a clear Vision and a concrete action plan, and be on the Board in the new year. This is particularly true in District III and District VI.

I strongly encourage people to get into the race. It's free, it's fun, it's the greatest civics lesson of your life. As a candidate you will get a perspective on modern American democracy that you cannot get any other way. Stop thinking "Somebody ought to do this" and remember that YOU are Somebody.

Don't worry about winning. There are lots of reasons to run that have nothing to do with winning.

Don't worry about serving. You'll find a way. It's supposed to be a volunteer gig, not a full-time job. There have been a number of successful Board members with full-time jobs.

14 comments:

Brita said...

Hello all,

Four years ago I ran for one reason only--to give voters a choice. Otherwise, the incumbent on whose watch the district had devolved into financial chaos (and other problems) would get a free ride to 'go'.

I know nothing about the person already declared in District III except the bio shared on his website and at a recent campaign appearance. Presumably, each candidate will develop a platform during the campaign.

In the meantime, democracy rests on choice. Please give voters in Seattle a choice. If a relatively unknown candidate simply walks into an elected office, we as voters have no say in expressing our preferences.

Charlie is right. He knows from experience that campaigning itself is indeed fun! Governing is also highly rewarding and Irene and I have begun the conversation about how to make it more sustainable.

It was a hard decision NOT to seek re-election because district governance is fascinating, varied, challenging, and rewarding. However, my family and I have faith that one of you will step up and take the next shift in making our district more transparent, accountable, and effective.

As I have already offered to candidates already filed, I am happy to sit down with anyone contemplating a school board run and lay out some of the pros, cons, and pitfalls. Having served as board president, I have given a lot of thought to the question of what conditions help board members be most effective.

Let there be candidates! The ensuing forums will strengthen our next elected school board members, will educate the public, and will definitely help maintain a democracy.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Harium Martin-Morris served on the site council at AEII elementary and was the PTSA president at Hale. He is a fairly straight forward, progressive, open minded, and extremely intelligent gentleman. He has a lot of integrity, and a lot of political saavy. He has been active, politicaly, with SPS for as long as I can remember (at least 6 years, maybe longer). He is active, and goes to many district meetings, and he has a lot of support in NE Seattle.

Some facts about Harium:

He has a BA Science in Elemenary ED from State Univ of NY, and an MBA from Babson College in MA.

He was a k-12 teacher for 4 years.

He worked for Boston Public Schools in Information Services.

He has children that attended AEII, Eckstein and Hale.

His website is:
http://www.harium2007.com/about.html

Of course, it's always good to have choice, and I would encourage anybody else interested to run!

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote from Harium's website

" During my tenure with MGT of America, my primary area of expertise was school reform issues. I worked on the design of state-wide, electronic, school improvement planning tools which are currently used by the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania. I also led the project team that produced the Washington State “Student Learning Plan” tool. In addition I worked on bond issue development in Boulder Colorado and school consolidation in Annapolis Maryland"

He is a strong candidate.

Anonymous said...

Linda's education blog on the PI is currently having guest bloggers who are running for school board. Today is Lisa Stuebing. I believe Sherry Carr is going to be there in the next couple days.

Just fyi!

Anonymous said...

Three questions:

In races where there are two candidates, will both candidates appear on the primary as well as general election ballots?

Do candidates in each district race need to reside in that district's boundaries?

Is there a site on the web that covers these and other particulars of Seattle school elections?

Melissa Westbrook said...

I could believe in the endorsements for Mr. Martin-Morris if the people endorsing him signed their names. I find it hard to understand supporting a candidate and yet not signing your name. If he's that good and you believe in him, say it publicly.

Anonymous said...

If there are only two candidates, there will not be a primary for that district. The two candidates advance to the city-wide general election (but compete only against each other for their district.)

Candidates do need to reside within the boundaries of the district they file for.

There is information about filing in general at the King County Elections website - and probably some searchable information there about school board races in particular.

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would signing my name convince you to endorse Harium Martin-Morris? Goodness knows I hope I don't have that kind of power. I was a parent of a student at AEII when he was. I like the guy, and personally think he is qualified. The facts that I listed on my earlier post are all on his website, so my name is not going to validate them. Now then Melissa,my name is Agngela. And now that you have my name, I guess you will be voting for Harium, right!! LOL.

For what that's worth.

Anonymous said...

As someone mentioned above, I am inviting Seattle School Board candidates to be guest bloggers on my PI site. So Charlie, get busy writing - hint, hint - and run!

Linda

Anonymous said...

Unless Charlie moved, he can't run. Didn't he run for position VII, held currently by Kumasaka?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:30 pm

It's netiquette to sign your name even if you haven't registered. Internets often being a faceless form of communication, it's a way to own your words and gain trust from those who read them. It's always nice to know who you're "talking" with, that's all. WenG

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks WenG. I only wondered out loud who made those favorable posts in case it was Harim's wife or campaign manager. (Not that I'm saying he would do that but in the history of politics, trying to play up your candidate has been known to happen.)

Charlie Mas said...

I live in Southeast Seattle on Beacon Hill in District VII. That District is currently represented on the School Board by Cheryl Chow.

Cheryl Chow won that position in an 2005 election against Linda Thompson-Black. Her campaign web site (www.cherylchow.org) is down but an archive can be viewed at:
. The web site had a page called "issues" but there was no mention of any issues on it. Perhaps this is why candidates think they don't have to discuss their position on issues - because they don't.

District VII will next be open for candidates in 2009.

Chris said...

Charlie- you're right, there's a dearth of good candidates this season (even last time, one got on effectively unopposed). Does that mean you'll be running in 2009?