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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

43rd Dems Endorsement Meeting

I attended last night's 43rd Dems endorsement meeting.  Long but truly fascinating (and kudos to all who have the courage to run for public office).  Here's a link to their questionnaires on all candidates which are illuminating.  Here's a brief overview as pertains to Seattle Public Schools.


In District 1, the endorsement went to Eric Blumhagen who was very good.  Liza Rankin seemed a little overwhelmed and referred to her notes many times (as did many other candidates in other races and it's never a good thing). 

In District 3, the endorsement went to....Rebeca Muniz.  A bit of a surprise considering she was going up against heavy-hitter Chandra Hampson.   But both Ms. Hampson and (especially) Benjamin Leis were quite underwhelming.  Ms. Hampson spent a lot of time on who she is and "oppression and dispossession" without talking about being the former president of the SCPTSA which I think might also have been of interest to the audience.  Leis did not speak properly into the mike and he read his entire statement.  Not good. 

I have recently talked with Ms. Muniz who is bright and energetic but totally not prepared for this job. She wasn't near close enough on how many students are in the district nor the amounts for the operations and capital budget.  She didn't know she could go to committee meetings and when I told her that perhaps going in August might be good, she demurred and said she would after the primary.  I think she might be a great candidate with more time and more understanding of this complex district.  I am confused why Director Eden Mack has endorsed her. 

In District 6, they voted no endorsement.  The only candidate there in that race was Crystal Liston who, like Muniz, is bright and energetic.  But Liston has been a volunteer in many schools and probably knows many more schools than most candidates.  But she didn't have much to support her candidacy and when a member of the 43rd urged a vote of no endorsement based on Liston's answers in her questionnaire, the members listened.  (There was a brief explanation about confusion for one or both of the other candidates - Director Leslie Harris and Molly Mitchell - about not completing the questionnaires which were required to be nominated at the meeting.)

On the matter of their endorsement for District 3 for City Council, the first vote was 46% for Zachary DeWolf and 42% for Kshama Sawant (they needed to each get to 60% to be endorsed; members can vote for more than one candidate).  In the second vote, DeWolf got to 46% and Sawant to 45% so neither got the endorsement.

DeWolf was late to get there to speak and was clearly flustered and spoke at a breakneck speed.  It may have hurt him.  Sawant made it clear that the city was becoming a place of wealthy tech people/developers versus everyone else and I think that resonated with the crowd. 

4 comments:

Watching said...

Congratulations to Eric Blumhagen. Blumhagen has been in the district for 16 years. He has served on PTA boards for 10 years, volunteered in classrooms, testified before the board for many years and served on district committees. He is the only candidate in this race that has had children in the district from grades 1-12.

I don't believe Muniz is prepared for the job of school board director.

I encourage individuals to reach-out to Ben Leis. He has been active in class and district wide issues. He is quite smart and thoughtful. He has children with 2 different needs. I think he would make an excellent director. I do feel directors, with children in the district, understand policy impact within our schools.



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Anonymous said...

"Leis did not speak properly into the mike and he read his entire statement. Not good."

I agree about Benjamin Leis as "quite smart and thoughtful". My take (as a fellow introvert) is that he may be a introvert, and perhaps was not as comfortable as some others in that setting. However I do believe he understands the complexity of many SPS issues and would be a very good on the board.

SPSmom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, I think Leis is very smart but when you are running for office, you ARE a candidate. People need to see and hear those smarts. That's politics.