It will soon be time for endorsements for the fall elections. The endorsements come from the Democratic Party legislative districts, from the King County Democrats, from a variety of advocacy organizations, and from the newspapers.

The political organizations have endorsement meetings. At these meetings people in the organization get up and speak about the candidates - usually in support. It is not unusual, however, for someone to speak against the endorsement of a candidate. If you are an active member of the Democratic Party within a legislative district or at the county level, be ready to speak at the endorsement meeting in support of school board candidates or in opposition to them. I have seen how influential an impassioned talk from a member can influence the vote of the body.

The advocacy groups have their own means for rating or endorsing candidates, but if you are a member of one of those groups, see what you can do to influence that process.

You might wonder about how newspapers come up with their endorsements. They hold a group interview with all of the candidates. But when it comes to school board races the interviewers often don't know the issues very well. The best are Lynne Varner and Bruce Ramsey for the Times. The Stranger staff freely acknowledges that they don't know the first thing about school district issues. I'm going to ask them if they will accept a guest member (me) on the Election Death Squad for those sessions.

Believe it or not, folks, but this is the time to get active within those organizations about endorsement criteria and determination.


Charlie's right. It is important to go to as many venues as possible (hopefully armed with a fact sheet which we can create) about what the Board members have and haven't done.

I like Charlie's idea of asking The Stranger to be on their election sessions. I can think of a few other media outlets to speak to about doing the same thing.
Kathy said…
I hope this blog will help inform us of dates and events.
dan dempsey said…
In 2007, I ran for School Board from West Seattle. Each candidate was asked if they wished to record their answers to questions, which would then be edited to show each candidate's answers to the same questions.
I went to a studio around N 85th and here is what I found out.

Ms. L. Varner was the interviewer. I was the first candidate to be interviewed and none of the others were there. The interview was delayed by about 30 minutes due to technical difficulties. This gave me 30 minutes one-on-one with Ms. Varner. In those 30 minutes I found out she had at best a superficial knowledge of what was going on in Education and in the Seattle Schools.

What many on this blog have seen as biased reporting on Ms. Varner's part,could be a reflection of her poor knowledge and understanding of the issues she reports on. Her writing does not reveal that she has learned much in the last four years about education.

In 2007 Emily Hefter was writing for the Times and the PI had Jessica Blanchard. Ms. Blanchard was the real expert on education issues in Seattle and Ms. Hefter was far more informed than Ms. Varner.

It certainly says a lot that Ms. Varner is viewed as among the best today. Read a few of her columns on education ... and shake your head.
moon mom said…
46th district candidate forum: Everyone is invited to watch the candidates for City Council and School Board answer questions and tell us about themselves. Please spread the word so we can have a great turnout to this annual event!Next 46th District General Membership Meeting
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
7:30 meeting begins
Olympic View Elementary School
NE 95th St. & 8th Ave. NE
Agenda: 2011 Candidate Forum
Everyone is invited to watch the candidates for City Council and School Board answer questions and tell us about themselves. Please spread the word so we can have a great turnout to this annual event!
Anonymous said…
I was at the 46th L.D. Dem meeting in April. Harium was busy spreading the word that the school board had made mistakes and had learned their lessons and there wouldn't be any more Potter-gates!

Too bad he mentioned NOTHING about the other Gates, and the Broad, and the rest of the messed up policies which he RUBBER STAMPED.

Given the kind of money which backed him and the other 3 rubber stamps, would anyone want to bet that Harium and the other 3 rubber stamps are NOT getting slick professional assistance with messaging?

Messaging such as - don't rock the boat continuity!

Selling A Bridge In Brooklyn.
Anonymous said…
With the worst school district audit in anyone's memory, a financial scandal and the complete tear down of teacher relations, not to mention public outreach, on their watch, do these people really expect to get reelected? "We've learned our lesson" is weak. Very weak. I find it pathetic that the corporate interests in town would rather have a board that "gets along" than a board that works effectively. We need to demand both and right now we only have the former.

Charlie Mas said…
What lesson has Director Martin-Morris learned?

Not to follow up?

Not to look too closely?

It was in November that he scolded his Board colleagues for not giving Dr. Enfield their blind trust. Had he learned the lesson by then?

Did he learn any lessons about listening to the community? Apparently not, the Board has had LESS community engagement than ever in the past three months.

Did he learn any lessons about enforcing policy? Apparently not as policies have been violated in pretty high profile ways without any reaction from the Board?

Did he learn any lessons about oversight? Apparently not since oversight has not improved. Where are the promised changes in the School Reports? Nowhere.
Charlie Mas said…
I hope the incumbents run on their record, because their record is horrible.

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