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Monday, August 03, 2009

District 7 Candidates in Times Article

The Seattle Times had an article this morning on the District 7 race. There were a couple of things that stood out. One, reporter Linda Shaw did a good job in pointing out the differences of expertise each would bring. Charlie is an investment adviser, Wilson Chin is a research scientist and Betty Patu worked in the district for 30+ years. All three received "very good" as their rating from the Muni League.

Two, she points out that they all have been involved in school issues but clearly Betty and Charlie have much more far-reaching involvement. Charlie has been to meeting after meeting and knows the district. Betty, with decades of experience in multiple schools, likely knows the SE really well. (I've mentioned before but I'll say it again; I want people who know the entire district and not just a couple of schools or their region. It's a district-wide job.)

That's pretty much my only rap against Wilson Chin is that I'm not sure he knows this district well. In fact in the article, when asked about the SE Initiative he said:

"He supports the Southeast Initiative in principle but says he needs to learn more about it."

This is an on-going program in the region he wants to represent and he doesn't know that much about it? For the record, here is what Charlie and Betty say:

Charlie - "He says it hasn't achieved its stated purpose — raising the number of families choosing the three schools."

Betty - "She supports the Southeast Initiative as an effort that has brought long-needed attention to schools she says thinks the district has neglected."

I would agree with Betty on that point but again, this program has been in effect, at schools she personally has worked at, and she has no real opinion on if it's working?

What I take issue with in this story is inserting Cheryl Chow into the discussion. Naturally, Ms. Shaw mentions the outgoing incumbent but in the part about Charlie she mentions how Charlie supported Cheryl in the last election. She doesn't have any mention of Cheryl in the part about Betty Patu. But then she has a two-line reasoning for endorsement for Chin from Cheryl (which I'm not going to reprint here).

It's one thing to say the outgoing incumbent supports Candidate X but another to put in two sentences on why (that's a lot of space in a newspaper article). Chow mentions how Chin's kids go to SE schools. I'm pretty sure so did Charlie's (but now one is at an SPS alternative school) and Betty's. Does Chow not give them credit for their children's attendance in SPS? Not good form to me.

4 comments:

Catherine said...

I thought that anyone in Seattle could vote for any seat in school board elections but I do not have these races on my primary ballot. Is it that only people in district 5 or 7 can vote in the primary but that everyone in Seattle will be able to vote in the general election? Thanks and please excuse my ignorance.

Chris S. said...

You are correct. The primary is limited to district residents, but all Seattle votes in the general election.

You can, however, put a sign in your yard or your car (I am) wherever you live, if you'd like to support someone, or even make a small donation, I suppose.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I had planned at some time to go down to the King County Law Library to see how this election process for School Board came about. Interesting. But Chris is right; you will be voting in the general so if there is a candidate you favor now, support that person by either resources or volunteer work or a yard sign.

Cara said...

I have a couple of questions for Charlie

Are you a resident of SE Seattle?

What are your ideas for improving SE Seattle schools specifically?

How will you implement these ideas?