Aww, gee shucks, we're influential

The current issue of Seattle Magazine has an article on Seattle's Most Influential People of 2011, and, well, we made the list.

Here's the blurb:

MELISSA WESTBROOK AND CHARLIE MAS / bloggers, Save Seattle Schools Community blog
 Tenacious, persistent and prescient: The bloggers behind one of Seattle’s feistiest public-interest websites ( have been called that, and more. Long before anyone was talking about a financial scandal in Seattle’s public schools, Melissa Westbrook and Charlie Mas were digging into public records, asking tough questions and firing off blog entries to keep the public informed. Many credit them with uncovering serious problems that ultimately led to superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson’s firing in March, but that’s not the duo’s proudest achievement. “What I see as our biggest success is that we have become a source used by parents, staff and community for Seattle schools’ news,” says Westbrook, a former PTA copresident and school board committee member. “We break stories and write stories that readers know they won’t find anywhere else.” Mas agrees: “The popularity and usefulness of the blog is our biggest success. Public school activism is a nearly futile exercise. You're a winner if you do it at all.” K.R.

Photo by Hayley Young

Now you know what we look like.


Anonymous said…
Congratulations to you and Charlie for a well-deserved honor.

But don't forget that other influential organization: the Ingraham PTSA.

Cheers, DWE
Charlie Mas said…
Yes! Let's hear it for the Ingraham students, staff, and families! Ya-hoo!
Yes, yes, hooray for all the Ingraham community showing "yes, we can."

Sigh, I hate that pose I was put in (I must learn to say no to uncomfortable poses).
Also, a BIG shout-out to the State Auditor's Office for their nod as well:

"At a time when the government at all levels is held in low repute, one Olympian body has avoided our electorate’s ire. No doubt since its charge is quashing government waste and fraud, the Washington State Auditor’s Office is seen as truly doing the people’s work. Some 325 statewide staffers scour the books, investigate whistle-blower and fraud complaints, and conduct performance audits of all state and local agencies and schools. Recent pecuniary plaudits range from alleging $306,000 in overpayments to Office Depot; $1.8 million in mismanaged funds by Seattle Public Schools, leading to the ouster of superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson; multimillions overspent on a park project near Port Townsend and on Sea-Tac’s third runway. Plus, via performance audits, in 2009, the office identified $285 million in potential government savings and, in 2010, millions in cost savings for Seattle City Light customers. Head honcho Brian Sonntag’s call for a delinquent-taxpayer amnesty also netted state coffers $282 million. Now, that’s our idea of fiscal accountability."
Anonymous said…
This is truly awesome. And well-deserved. I've attended enough meetings I already knew what you looked like, but nice photo, anyway, You Look Mah-velous!

Greg Linden said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Linden said…
Congrats! Well deserved!
StepJ said…
And now charges are being filed against Silas Potter.
Jamie said…
Congratulations! Extremely well deserved. And you're both cute as the dickens to boot.
Floor Pie said…
Well deserved. Congratulations!
Anonymous said…
Ditto - well deserved. I'm grateful to read this blog. Much appreciation to you two!
Carol Simmons said…
Congratulations to you both. Well deserved.

Anonymous said…
funny what the "petition government for redress of grievances" stuff can conjure up.

thanks! for the great work.

dan dempsey said…
Now if only all four school board director incumbents running for reelection can be held responsible with election defeats. Then we will know that Westbrook and Mas have really arrived.

This duo is incredibly talented and dedicated.

Mel & Charlie... Thanks so much for regularly making an amazing effort.
Anonymous said…
Congratulations! You'all are are certainly influential in my understanding of Seattle and Settle Public Schools.

PS: I like being able to attach faces to the people behind the blog, too.
Anonymous said…
Woo Hoo! Congrats!
Seattle mom
Jet City mom said…
Congratulations! Extremely well deserved. And you're both cute as the dickens to boot.

Anonymous said…
Congrats! (now don't go changing the name of the blog...)

There should also be a shout out to Ingraham parents, students, and staff - they made the list for supporting Floe.

hschinske said…
Yay! And that's a great dress, by the way.

Helen Schinske
RosieReader said…
This is well deserved. Warmest congratulations.
SolvayGirl said…
The Dynamic Duo gets recognized—it's about time!
Anonymous said…
Congratulations! Good job, everyone who worked to create this blog!

Seattle Citizen (who can't seem to comment using his regular google account: "your account (email address) does not have access...") strange, had this before once, any ideas? No cap locks aren't on, and I've changed my password...hmmm
peonypower said…
about time- without you and all the others who follow the district much more nefarious acts would continue to go on. Great job!
dan dempsey said…
WOW a picture of Caped Crusaders without capes... Can I get a poster?
SE Mom said…
Melissa, you might feel uncomfortable in that pose, but you look great! (Charlie too.)
Tracy @ WSB said…
Congratulations. I rely on being able to go to this site to tap into current concerns and controversies, and to get pointed to, for example, district documents and slide decks that are impossible to find if you don't know where to look. My wish is that somehow you will be able to make a business or at least a supported nonprofit out of it ... because your work certainly merits support so it wouldn't just be the ever-popular volunteer labor of love.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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