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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Got Ballot? District 6

We need to reelect Leslie Harris, the incumbent and not elect her challenger, Molly Mitchell.

I say that with mixed feelings.  I have heard the complaints about Harris.  She's not perfect but no candidate is. I have listened to Molly Mitchell who seems to be doing good work for community college students.  She has a good background in policy.

So why Harris?

1) The Board will have if Harris is not reelect, the Board will have just two remaining members. One is Eden Mack, the other Zachary DeWolf.  That would mean an HUGE amount of pressure on Mack, trying to guide the newbies and tracking what the Superintendent and staff are pushing forth at a fast pace.  (I don't bring DeWolf into that work because he hasn't been a strong director and likes to piggy-back off others work.)

Without the watchful eye of Harris, I believe the-flip-the-table goal of Juneau will happen even faster.

2) Harris knows this district and Michell does not.  That knowledge base in itself makes Harris the stronger candidate.

3) Harris has worked very hard to keep things on an even keel.  She is very respectful and appreciative of her colleagues and of staff.  She strives to be fair and even-handed.

4) It is now clear that Hampson, Rankin and Mitchell believe they are a slate. I cannot stress how much voters need to look at candidates on their individual merits AND how they will work as a team with other Board members.

From a statement that Chandra Hampson put out about the three slate candidates:
  • This is not a ticket of convenience for Liza and Molly and myself. 
Coming with a slate of new directors with an agenda is not going to help this district, particularly on Operations, which none of them seem to talk about in any great manner or understanding.

5) Harris has been active in this district a long time.  But it's not just knowing the players and understanding regions or knowing policies; it's institutional knowledge.  And, apparently, the fact that staff does hide info from the Board.

You might say, "Melissa, how can you know that?"  Glad you asked.

I am assuming it's true because SPS employee, Tracy Castro-Gill, said it at a candidate forum for those running for Highline School Board.

Here's the video, starting at about minute 35, she's talking about data and where it comes from and who interprets it and then she says:

If the Board isn't getting this information it's not -I've worked in school districts - it's not uncommon for district officials and administrators to purposefully hide things from the board.  So the Board has to do a better job of demanding information from the school district administrators.  They work for us, not the other way around. We have the same issue in Seattle.

And there you go.  Someone who heads an office in SPS, telling us that staff hides information/data from the Board directors.

That's why you need Leslie Harris - who knows what BS looks and sounds like - to keep this district honest.

Vote Harris.

13 comments:

Elsa said...

"Struggle for equity" is lost with every vote for Harris.

Anonymous said...

Voted for Harris. I like Mitchell and probably would have voted for her if she had been running in another district like DeWolf's.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

And Elsa, what's your reasoning? Would be helpful rather than just a blanket statement.

Anonymous said...

I just laughed at Harris blaming every single problem on the lack of funding! That's a lie.

Harris is the incumbent and Harris 2015 said every thing was the incumbent's fault, sounds right to me in 2019.


Guess who

Melissa Westbrook said...

Guess Who, you are mistaken. Harris takes some nuanced stands on different aspects of this district but it's hard to not agree about funding.

Elsa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lasagna People said...

I'm so much happier with Leslie Harris than I am with many of SPS's deceptive employees. I'm thrilled that Harris decided to run again. I respect her for being a foster parent. I respect her for using her time and her power to benefit students. I respect her for not cutting Sebrena Burr short the other night even though it was technically wrong to let her speak so long. I respect her for reliably meeting with constituents. She's my choice for district 6 and I am thrilled to exercise my franchise for her. Sent my ballot in yesterday.

Lasagna for the people!

Anonymous said...

I like Leslie on a personal level. I can work with Leslie. But when it comes to where she says she stands and flip flops, then I believe it is time for her to go.
Below exactly what I am talking about:
Amplify: gave the deciding vote although she did not get all the answer to the sharp questions she had for SPS staff, so now we are stuck with crappy curriculum.
PTA funding: She says she hates it but keeps on approving buying teachers. And no, it is not for SCPTSA to mandate what PTAs can fundraise. A resolution was passed, PTAs adopted it or not. There is no PTA police
District 7 appointment: I don't care about the rumors she knew Director Patu was going to resign. Who knows. But she gave the community a slap on the face when she voted for Hersey and left JVA with ZERO votes. That is humiliating to someone that has put so much dedication to serve SPS. I was in shock and amazed by JVA composure. She would have been an amazing director.

Just my two cents.

JMTC



Anonymous said...

@JMTC:

Re: Your comments about Julie Van Arcken: Both Julie and Brandon Hersey attended Leslie Harris' re-election fundraiser, where I talked to both of them at length, and where both of them were most enthusiastic in their support for Harris.

I am so f-g tired of clicking on images of traffic lights.

-- Ivan Weiss

Elsa said...

Ask for my "reasoning" and then deleting it when I provide it?

Melissa, your bias is showing.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Elsa, I believe you made a statement which is not allowed under our guidelines. Try again.

Anonymous said...

My problem with Harris is the district is falling into a death spiral on her watch. Haven't seen this much top-down chaos and divisiveness in SPS since the Goodloe Johnson years. I don't think Mitchell has district knowledge or will to bring things in line or hold the superintendent accountable. But Harris hasn't either, and she's been board president for 2 years.

Feel like voting

Noneoftheabove

Meatless Lasagna said...

Voted Harris. She needs to stop flip-flopping.